Idaho City’s Boot Hill
If visiting Idaho City, a trip to the Pioneer Cemetery, aka Boot Hill, is a must.
One of my family traditions while growing up was to visit cemeteries wherever we traveled, reading the inscriptions and speculating on what life was like. This is a habit I’ve continued with my travels.
And most of those have been neatly mown or perhaps slightly weedy squares set off the side of the road. The Pioneer Cemetery was breathtakingly different. Over 3,000 people are buried there as early as the 1860s (from what I could see), though most of the markers are missing due to fires and age.
A mix of old and newer graves set among towering pines with nature having taken over almost everything.
What I thought were hiking trails (though it seemed strange) wound up being paths to various sections where graves had been identified, though their markers were long since broken or destroyed by time and fire.
It was beautiful and slightly melancholy.
Some had elaborate stones or enclosures. Others just a wooden sign. Some local celebrities who played a role in Idaho City’s history.
Can’t quite explain why it affected me so, but it was a highlight to my trip and I definitely recommend a stop if you’re anywhere in the area.
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