Florissant will leave you petrified – Yuyavan Robles

It is amazing to note how much history lies minutes away from each other, when you arrive in the town of Florissant, Colorado you can check out the local museum. This local museum has numerous historical tales of old Florissant from the traveling mountain men, to how it was a trading post to rest and regather on supplies, If one were to travel a bit further up the road, Florissant cemetery would be up the road to ones left. It would be open to visitors both living and dead, just kidding.

Florissant Pioneer Cemetery Entrance

When I first entered the Florissant Pioneer Cemetery I was expecting there to be zero maintenance. Considering a lot of historical sites get left untreated or overwhelmed with a lack of groundskeeping. I was glad however to see the ground was being well kept, it was a bonus that we got to meet a historian volunteer with the Pike’s Peak Society. He was a great help in providing a tour of all the infamous tombstones and who they belonged to; a great wealth of knowledge even up to the most recent person buried. One of the tombstones not history related made me intrigued it was a nice tombstone the story was that it belonged to a 3-year-old daughter of a family and that family had a member that belonged to the Woodmenlife organization which made this astonishing tombstone. Before taking the picture I had asked if it was okay, and many of these tombstones were there for public knowledge to hear their stories, This included the founder of the town of Florissant which rested right next to this tombstone.

Tombstone of 3-year-old Roxy

Many would-be frightened to visit multiple graveyards, even more, take pictures but when I was younger my grandmother told me when you talk to the one you grab their attention when you talk to the general area you don’t alienate anyone specifically, she was referring to when I would go with her to visit my great grandparent’s graveyard sites. As I visited, I paid my respect to the land and to everyone there to understand I was visiting them to learn and gain insight. It felt calming visiting the two cemeteries near Florissant it made interesting connections to the national monument which I worked at. For example, I found Adeline Hornbeck who was one of the first women to file a Homesteading Claim in the Florissant Valley and the state of Colorado. I never spent much time integrating myself to visit historical sites and I am forever thankful for this internship for pushing me to uncover more stories and interact with community members and hear their tales.

Entrance to Four Mile Cemetery
Adeline Hornbeck’s Tombstone

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