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Cheesman Park

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(Photo: Courtesy of Brian Sands)
<p>With an estimated 2,000 bodies still buried in the park, we wonder – “what lies beneath the Cheesman Pavillion?”</p>
Cheesman Park

Before Cheesman was a popular Denver park, it was a cemetery. A largely neglected cemetery for outlaws, the poor and the diseased. But by 1890, as the neighborhood grew, residents wanted something more pleasant. Like a park.

First, the dead had to be moved. After loved ones claimed some, five thousand other bodies remained. An undertaker hired to move them turned out to be unscrupulous. He crammed corpses – sometimes more than one – into cheaper child-sized coffins. The city fired but did not replace him. And work on the park proceeded above and around the remaining graves.

When that process was completed, the family of Denver pioneer Walter Cheesman donated the Greek Neoclassical marble pavilion that still anchors the park that bears his name. It’s the backdrop for many a photograph, wedding and ghost story. Because every now and then, a body or two is unearthed – a reminder of Cheesman Park’s origin.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.