Courtland Cemetery Cleanup
In December, 2017, a Facebook group called Ghost Town Trails Tour, organized a cleanup of the Courtland Cemetery. This group of folks worked hard to pull weeds, cut back brush and mesquite, re stack the rocks and reset the crosses on the graves. All but 15 of the graves were tended to, because everyone just flat ran out of energy. A physical count of the graves was also done on that day, verifying that indeed, there are 85 graves there.
In January, 2018, a proposal was sent to the Bureau of Land Management to request a fence to be placed around the cemetery to keep the open range cattle out, since they are the cause of most of the damage. The BLM set the date of September 22, 2018 to commence fencing. They supplied the fencing materials, t-shirts, food, a boy scout troop, and extra hands to assist. In addition, the slab graves of Thomas Allen and Jose Garcia were repaired on September 22, 2018. To see photos from the September 22nd event, please go to the Fencing the Cemetery page.
A replacement marker for Simon Franklin's grave was also ordered from the VA in January. This marker was received in February and on September 15th, 2018, Simon Franklin's marker was replaced. Photos of the day can be seen on Simon Franklin's page.
A "Courtland Cemetery est. 1909" sign has been routed of wood, and is now mounted at the entrance to the cemetery.
Eventual plans include having a kiosk installed with the names of those buried in the cemetery, and replacing the wooden crosses.
Where is the plot map? Or, was there ever a plot map to begin with? Unknown. Courtland was not an incorporated town. There was no town hall, or formal church. Church services were held at the school building. There are no cemetery records in the state, or county archives.
Courtland Cemetery Cleanup--December 30, 2017
Photo contributors to the slide show below are: Eric Cee, Hal Gilliland, Kenneth Stuart, Jose Castillo, and Marc Smelser.
The overgrowth is so thick, you can't see the people behind the bush.
If you look closely, you can see a cross between the two bushes.
Lush, green grass is very attractive to open range cattle.
Only a few crosses remain standing. The cattle have knocked most of them down.
The growth is so thick, you can't see the graves under these crosses.
The graves of Thomas Allen and Jose Garcia. The holes in the concrete may have been caused by cattle stepping on them.
After the cleanup, you can clearly see Thomas Allen's and Jose Garcia's graves. The holes in the concrete will be repaired when the fence is installed.
What a difference! This now looks like a cemetery!
Crosses will also be reset or replaced during the fence installation.
Once the brush and weeds were removed, we could do a physical count of the graves, verifying that there are 85 graves in the cemetery.
The Courtland Cemetery is now much easier to walk through.
Everyone did a fantastic job!