If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado

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If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
Series Title:
If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
Stott, Annette
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:59:06 PM] Home If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, ColoradoIf These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, ColoradoSubmitted by nwharton on 5-6-2013 05:38 PMAuthor: Mary Reilly-McNellan, Lise Cook Cordsen, Judith Gould Dayhoff, and Barbara Walsh Myers Publishing: Boulder, CO: 3D Press, 2012. 177 pages. 8 1/2" x 11". $21.95 Reviewer: Annette Stott Reviewer Affiliation: University of Denver If These Stones Could Talk presents a fascinating account of Boulders pioneer burial ground, written by four women who have a long association with their subject: Mary Reilly-McNellan has managed Columbia Cemeterys preservation project for the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department since 1998; Lise Cook Cordsen, a former board member of Historic Boulder, Inc., grew up near the cemetery and has been involved with it for over twenty years; Judith Gould Dayhoff, another Boulder native, is a retired librarian with relatives buried at Columbia; and Barbara Walsh Myers has a masters degree in psychology and a love of history. Together they have spent years researching Boulders former citizens, and this book is packed with the stories of the cemeterys permanent residents, organized into several overlapping categories. One chapter presents those who met their end in more-or-less dramatic fashion. Another recounts the lives and deaths of the citys prostitutes. Black pioneers star in yet another section, and the largest chapter is devoted to the largest group of burials, those of white folks. From these chapters we learn the intriguing stories of a 1954 murder victim whose identity was only discovered in 2009; an eighteen-year-old prostitute who was shot three times in the back by an avenging wife; and a 109-yearold man who was sold into slavery as a toddler only to discover years later that he had been sold to his own natural father. The authors were not only interested in the people buried in Columbia Cemetery. They have also looked into the physical development of the land as a rural cemetery; its administration; the grave markers including their materials, styles, lettering, epitaphs, and makers; Boulders early undertakers; funerals; graveside ceremonies; and illicit grave robbing. Every topic comes alive with the personalities of Boulders often eccentric early citizens in anecdotes recounted in compelling prose. It is impossible to tell where one authors voice ends and another begins, so successful was their collaboration. A good selection of historic and contemporary black-and-white photographs illustrates the topics, and the reader is swept along from story to story. The final chapter presents the problems of conservation in a historic cemetery too often plagued by vandalism, theft, and many types of unintended damage, as well as the natural processes of erosion from weather and pollution. The steps being taken by those responsible for the cemetery and a corps of volunteers to preserve this place of cultural heritage are also detailed. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.


If These Stones Could Talk: Tales from Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:59:06 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us The authors intend to help first-time cemetery visitors, as well as those more accustomed to studying grave markers, understand exactly what they are seeing at Columbia Cemetery and how to get the most from the experience. They succeed. The cemetery map on the back cover, together with an appendix listing the burial locations of all the people mentioned in the book, help the visitor find the grave or marker to match a favorite story. The section on gravestone materials and a useful appendix containing photographs of common gravestone symbols and their meanings aid analysis of gravestones not specifically treated in the text. Footnotes are kept to a minimum, and the references in a short list at the back of the book are not associated with specific text, but the bibliography is arranged by chapter, giving the interested reader a selection of sources for further study. For those who have never before contemplated visiting a historic cemetery for pleasure, If These Stones Could Talk is an excellent place to begin. Dip into the sections that most interest you and then take the book to Columbia Cemetery for a pleasurable stroll among the graveshopefully, the first of many. This is a book for anyone with an interest in history, cemetery enthusiasts, admirers of gravestones, and Boulders present and future residents. Reviewer Info: Dr. Annette Stott is a professor of art history at the University of Denver and the author of Pioneer Cemeteries: Sculpture Gardens of the Old West (2008, University of Nebraska Press). A specialist in nineteenth-century American art, she has also published articles about childrens seashell gravestones and Woodmen memorials.