Georgetown, the Alvarado-Georgetown Cemetery & Idaho Springs

We bought a Jeep this year in the hopes that we could maybe check out some back roads in the mountains over the summer. This was our one attempt in June before we realized our tires and transmission might not be ready for this adventure. We bought a book called Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails that looked really cool and found this trail in that book. It was quickly realized that we definitely weren’t ready for any “moderate” trails, but we did get a little way up the trail and got this amazing view.

Overlooking Georgetown from the dirt road trail

We then decided to head back down, plus some scary dark clouds were rolling in so we thought it best to head back towards Denver, but maybe meander along the way.

The dirt road near Georgetown that the Jeep wasn’t ready for… it got worse than this.

On our was back we stopped by the Georgetown Lake. I love Colorado during summer, it’s so fresh and green. It was still cold though and we didn’t have fishing poles, so we decided to move on.

Fishing at Georgetown Lake

Instead of hopping back onto Interstate 70 we decided to drive east on Argentine Street which turns into Alvarado Road. As we were driving we started to pass a cute little white house, which I soon realized was the entry center for an old cemetery. This is where I get silly excited and was like “OMG, pull over! I want to check it out!”… I’m kind of a lover of old cemeteries and gravestones ever since I was a kid. So there was no way I was not going to check this place out. The boyfriend, however, was not too thrilled. In fact, he definitely has the opposite reaction that I do.

I still remember visiting an old cemetery when I was 4 or 5 in Oregon. My mother was going to visit friends who had moved to Oregon and they lived right next to a really old cemetery. It was a quiet, overgrown wonderland of the past to me. I’d never seen an old cemetery, only the neatly kept ones that looked like parks. This cemetery looked forgotten and overgrown and had wildflowers and weeds with old carved gravestones here and there. It felt like a dream-like place. Even now, I can’t remember where this was… I just remember taking my Barbies with me as I went to explore. Another reason I remembered the trip was because Oregon was where my mother finally bought me my first Ken doll… I say “finally” because I’m pretty sure I begged the entire trip and when we got there she finally got it for me.

Anyways, after reading a bit of information at the little white house about the cemetery and it’s layout I decided to see if I could venture in.

It was open!
A bit of a spooky afternoon as the clouds rolled in…

A little bit about the cemetery from Foothills Genealogical Society:

“The cemetery now referred to as “Alvarado” is a combination of 6 or 7 early cemeteries created by different groups between the late 1860’s and the turn of the century.  From the early 1900’s through the present day, members of the Masonic Lodge #12, AF& AM, have been the caring stewards – a daunting task undertaken by generations of lodge members on behalf of their own and other organizations.  The current sexton is Ned Biggs of Idaho Springs.  He has the current records.

The oldest section sits back against the mountain in the old Masonic section. Tyler Disbrow’s grave (1869) has been referenced as the oldest although there is an earlier child’s grave from 1865. The Masons and the Oddfellows were the first to use the land for cemetery purposes.  There were early Masonic lodges in both Empire and Georgetown, so it is quite possible that the lodges acted jointly to form a cemetery for all – certainly for the western end of the county.  Early residents from Empire, Georgetown, Silver Plume, Lawson and Dumont are buried here.  Georgetown had a early cemetery inside the town limits, but the rocky soil and windswept nature of the area were always problems.  As the Alvarado cemetery became better know, it became the burial preference for Georgetown residents.  The Silver Plume cemetery started with the Oddfellows cemetery in 1881, while the Empire cemetery was organized by the Town of Empire in the 1890’s.  It is no surprise that many of the pioneers from these towns, many of whom died prior to the establishment of local cemeteries, are buried here.” Written by Christine Bradley, Clear Creek County Archivist.
1337983586_Alvarado_plotmap_1
Map of the platting of the cemetery

Gravestones from the cemetery:

After I was dragged out of the cemetery… the boyfriend was definitely over it after about a half hour. We headed on to Idaho Springs where we stopped for some libations on Miner Street. Our first stop was Flipper McGill’s Pinball Parlor which is a pretty cool little place for beers and pinball. We then headed over to BeauJo’s Pizza, which was super delicious and they had a salad bar in an old bathtub. The place was packed, but with good reason since the food was so good. We’ll definitely stop there again at some point.

 Then it was back home to Denver just as the sun peaked back out of the clouds.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m with you, and am drawn to old cemeteries. I’ve always found them fascinating and calming. Definitely gives you a lot to think about. Recently I took some photos at a Revolutionary War cemetery that I came across and have used in a few posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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