Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pinal Pioneer Graveyard Revisited

It's beem almost three years since I last visited the Pinal Pioneer Graveyard(see post Pinal Pioneer Graveyard dated 5/17/2011). This graveyard is about one mile west of Superior, Arizona, just west of the remains of Pinal, Arizona. It ceased to be an active cemetery when a new cemetery was created in 1916. The World's Oldest Photographer(WOP) was indisposed but I was able to gather the Old White Haired guy(OWH) and make a visit about a week ago.

The biggest change is the fence that now encloses the cemetery on all sides. It is a sturdy barbed wire fence with a maze like gate located at the east end. This keeps vehicles and cattle out but allows human foot traffic. A sign has also been erected just inside the gate explaining the cemetery. The two photos below show the fence, gate and sign.

Picket Post Mountain is seen in the background and in the photo below.

We had to walk about 1/4 mile past the gate before we came to the graves. I had seen on the internet that someone had placed a memorial marker for "Mattie" Blaylock Earp, Wyatt Earp's common law wife who died near here of an overdose of laudanum in 1888. It is not known exactly where in the cemetery her grave is, so this is a memorial rather than a grave marker. The memorial is shown below.

The grave shown below is still quite well demarcated by rocks and a wooden cross.

The grave below is poorly demarcated but the remnants of a wooden cross are still present.

Below is a grave outlined nicely with rocks. A cholla cactus seems to be acting as a head marker.

The grve below has what I presume was the headstone flat on top of the grave now.

The photo below shows two of my favorites; you can see the proximity to each other. I have no idea if they are related. This photo is looking almost due west.

The photos below are of these two graves individually. In the background of the one surrounded with pipes is Picket Post Mountain.

Manuelita Guzman is buried in the grave surrounded by the pipes; her marker is shown below.

The photo below shows a group of at least four graves; one has a stone marker, two are well outlined by stones, one has a wooden cross laying on the ground inside the stones, one has an upright cross, and one is marked only by a wooden upright post with a red rose on top of it.

The next photos show these graves closer up.

The grave below still has a stone marker.

The graves shown below are a family group; at least three children from the Harkey family are buried here. They didn't die at the same time but over a few years; one about age 11 as I remember, one after birth and one at age one.  For me these graves are very poignant. Someone has placed small toys on the middle one.

This is a good place to visit to get a somewhat sobering look at the not too distant past.