Oracle Cemetery Identification Project asks for help from public

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Rock structure where map will be located.
John Hernandez | Miner

Cathy Ellis points out worn grave and headstone.
John Hernandez | Miner

San Manuel Miner

A group of volunteers has taken on the task of identifying unmarked graves, cleaning up, and maintaining the Oracle Cemetery. Gloria and Reg Ramsay have been involved in keeping up the cemetery for years. They are now working with other volunteers to gather a list of everyone known to be buried in the Oracle Cemetery. There are many unmarked graves including those of what appear to be infants or children. The members of the Oracle Cemetery Identification Project are trying to find out who is buried in unmarked graves and identify those whose headstones have been worn by the elements so badly they cannot be read.

The project started as a clean up project about a year and a half ago. Members of the local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints have been involved in the cleaning. Lorin McCrae decided to locate a grave with GPS coordinates. They are now planning to map the cemetery and give each gravesite a GPS number. Each grave that is identified will be given a number. There will be stakes driven into the gravesite with temporary markers and if the deceased is identified their name will be added to the marker and map. The map will be located in the roofed rock structure at the entrance of the cemetery. This will make it easier for friends and relatives of the deceased to find the grave. It will also assist genealogists and historians in their research.

Noted historical author Catherine Ellis has been helping to identify gravesites and researching death records to find out who is buried in the cemetery. She said the history of the cemetery is interesting. In the 1880s through the early 1900s, people who died in Oracle were buried in Tucson at Holy Hope or Evergreen cemeteries or had their bodies shipped to other parts of the country or Mexico where they were originally from. The first known person to be buried in the area that is now known as the Oracle Cemetery was Andres Castillo in 1911. He was a Mexican working for Lavinia Steward. His body was found on a trail in Oracle. Steward took care of the burial arrangements and purchased the headstone. Soon others began to bury family members in the area. It may have not been a deeded cemetery at the time as town site problems had not been settled.

The Cemetery Grave Identification Project needs help from the public. They are asking anyone that knows who is buried in an unmarked grave or in a grave with an unreadable headstone to write the name on the temporary marker. If you disagree with the name that is on a temporary marker please let them know by calling Gloria Ramsay 520-896-2505 or Cathy Ellis 520-896-3226.

John Hernandez (126 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Utility work on Golder Ranch Road east of SR 77 this week

    19 hours ago
    by

    Golder Ranch Road will be reduced to one lane daily in both directions, east of State Route 77 (Oracle Road) […]


    Mary C. O’Brien Elementary School earns an A grade from the State

    September 12th, 2014
    by

    The Mary C. O’Brien Elementary School (MCOB) was awarded an A grade for the 2013 – 2014 school year from […]


    Hambly names Students of the Week

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    Leonor Hambly K-8 School has announced its Students of the Week for the week of Aug.


    Copper Community Action Board provides services for community

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The Copper Community Action Board (CCAB) is a non-profit organization that was founded by a few members of the community that volunteer to clean up, promote and


  • Stories Just For You

    Lobos roughed up by Roughriders

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The second-ranked Pima Roughriders ruined the ninth-ranked Lobos’ home opener last Friday, cruising to a 60 – 20 victory.


    Bearcats get first win of the season

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The seventh-ranked Bearcats bounced back nicely from last week’s season opening loss to Pima, defeating the visiting tenth-ranked Valley Union Blue Devils in their home opener, 48


    Aravaipa goes Firewise

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    Copper Area News The nation’s federal and state land management agencies and local fire departments have joined together to empower homeowners with knowledge and tools to protect their homes through


    Hawaiian cowboys have interesting history

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    San Manuel Miner While vacationing in Hawaii recently, I came across a photo/history display of the cattle industry in Hawaii in the lobby area of a hotel in Kona, Hawaii.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin