Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Butcher Hill Cemetery ~ 1850s

Photos copyright: Claudia East, 2008.

Butcher Hill Cemetery, also known as Foothill Cemetery, is located at the foot of Butcher Hill in the northeast section near the city of Yreka. There is no longer a sign for the cemetery, and it is not kept up, in the summer months the weeds grow tall and obscures many of the gravestones. There is still a gate of sorts and a rickety fence around the area. We are told that the name of Butcher Hill derives its name from a slaughterhouse that was located in the area during the early days of Yreka.

The earliest marker found to date reported appears to have been for a Harvey Newton, dated March 1855 and the last burial known for this graveyard was in 1940, many of the later graves being those of "paupers". Walking through this old cemetery is akin to taking a walk in the past... the history of the markers and information found can give one insight to a bit of what life was once like. One can often find names, birth and death dates, occupations, religious preference, ethnicity, and status in the community when viewing the grave markers and surrounding area. In some instances one might even find information such as survivors, or may describe the sentiment loved ones placed on their passing.

In the photos above the first photo on the far left is a overview from near the top area of the cemetery hill looking west. The second photo of the tree and two posts by the fence is the entrance area from Foothill Road. The third photo and on the left is a photo of the gravestone of John H. Thompson "kiled" from a cave in along the bank of a river or stream in 1860, and the marker states it was placed by his friends. The photo on the right is of a gravestone for a Thomas Ball, born 1806 and died in 1857. The bottom photo of the rounded small headstone is for a man named Thomas E. Purcell Born in 1859 and Died in 1908. These are just a few of the markers standing or fallen that are nearly lost in the weeds and dirt.

Local websites that provide information to genealogists, historians, and generally interested folks often provide detailed information. Butcher Hill Cemetery (aka Foothill Cemetery) is listed online and can be found at Siskiyous Cemetery Central:

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008.

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