Cemetery History

When/how did the Erie cemetery come into being? 
The Town obtained ownership of some of the Cemetery property on June 20, 1881 when the St. Louis and Denver Land and Mining Company deeded it the to the Town.  If you read the deed, in the legal description it says “The boundary lines are due north, south, east and west on and surrounding the present site now being used as a Burying Yard or Cemetery for the inhabitants of Erie and vicinity.  How long it had been a burial yard prior to 1881 is not known at this time.

Has it always been known as Mount Pleasant Cemetery?
Probably not, but no one is quite sure when it was called Mount Pleasant.  The first deeds were issued in 1901 and they refer to the “Erie Cemetery”.  The Methodist Church has a very long history in Erie, in 1925 the Methodist Church in Pleasant View Ridge near Longmont closed and the church building was moved here.  There was an old sign from the 1940’s that was replaced in 1991 with the name “Mount Pleasant” so it has been around a while.

What is the exact location?
520 Colliers Boulevard - Section 18, Township 1, Range 68. 

Which is the oldest grave?
The oldest headstone in the Cemetery dates back to 1869 but is probably a memorial, and the next oldest date is 1871

About how many graves are there at Mount Pleasant?
There are approximately 1,300 burials with over 300 unmarked graves. Many of the original markers were made of wood and have worn away. There are approximately 1,400 spaces still available.

Has the cemetery been enlarged through the years?  
In 1900 the Town was deeded the section due east of the first cemetery, this was called the new north and south because of a division running east and west between the roads. In 1942 the Town was deeded the section to the north, this became the “New North” section. 

Are the cemetery burial records intact? Where are they kept? Are they available to view?
There are virtually no records prior to 1901, the only record would be the headstones that are still intact.  There are receipts for plots sold, but no actual interment records until the 1960’s and those are still not complete.  In the files were almost 200 copies of Burial Transit permits, over 100 with no idea where the person was buried.  More than half of those have been matched up with deeds and their burial locations recorded.  In 2009 the Town purchased new software and the cemetery records are now recorded electronically.

Why is it a special place?
This is the oldest historic place still standing in Erie. Mount Pleasant Cemetery has both local and regional historic significance. The cemetery is a tangible link with the past, and a place that is sacred and significant. As you walk through Mount Pleasant you will see many different types of monuments and plots.  These historic markers provide us with some of the earliest written local history. The Headstones reveal names and dates for locally significant persons as well as provide valuable information to those interested in their family histories.

Cemetery Facts
In 1871 Erie ended at Holbrook Street to the east.  The site of the old Presbyterian Church was not annexed into the Town until 1883 as the “West Addition”.  The site of the original cemetery is rumored to have been near the old Presbyterian Church, which was built around 1883. If there was a cemetery there it would have been moved when the Railroad tracks were built there in 1885.  However, there are burials on the hill at Mount Pleasant dating back to the 1870’s.  

The first major recorded flood in Erie was in 1876.  There are stories about the old cemetery being flooded and caskets floating down the street and bones washing up in Coal Creek.  The news article from the Greeley Sun reporting on the flood does not mention this grim event and if in fact the cemetery was located behind the Presbyterian Church, according to the Army Corps of Engineers would not have been in the flood path. 

Who’s Who

  • Eight former Mayors/Presidents of the Board
  • Oldest is Revered John T. Williams b. 1815  d. 1896
    • President of the Board 1875 to 1876
    • Rev Williams is buried with his first wife and second wife and a 9 year old son. According to the Boulder News, John (son) accidentally shot himself on Sept 25, 1893 he was found lying with revolver that belonged to a border in the house. According to the Boulder Weekly Herald, the second Mrs. Williams committed suicide on May 25, 1895 at Erie by jumping into a well; she had been demented for some time due to a death in the family.
  • Two Presbyterian Ministers and two Methodist Ministers
  • Merchants and Business Owners:
    • The Probert Family-opened Erie’s first drugstore
    • William Drinkwater – Co-owner of the Garfield Mine
    • John Morgan – Erie Postmaster in 1898
  • Names representing immigrants (most of them miners that came here to work in the coal mines) include those from: Scotland, France, Wales, England, Germany, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria and Mexico.
  • 9 Civil War Veterans
  • 2 Spanish American War Veterans
  • 12 WW I Veterans
  • 21 WWII Veterans
  • 3 Korean War Veterans
  • 11 Vietnam War Veterans