Thursday, December 06, 2007

The "Drake Cabin" - Log Cabin Tomb Stone... Interesting

Fabulous workmanship and interesting story. First found it on Neataorama, but then had to dig to get more info. Quite fascinating. Ole Rustard built it, and in the end, it also killed him.
According to Neatorama reader Eric Purkalitis, who wrote:

"I love the clothespin tombstone you wrote of recently. I live in Denver and there is a really strange cemetery tucked away in the industrial part of town. The link is to a photo of my favorite grave marker, a reproduction of a log cabin. There are many interesting graves at Riverside Cemetery, but the interesting part is the story behind it.

Riverside Cemetery was created to relocate the graves from Denver City Cemetery, which had become dilapidated. Go figure City Cemetery contained the graves of Denver’s elite and was smack in the middle of the wealthiest part of town.E.F. McGovern was hired to move the graves, but was caused a scandal by piling up multiple bodies together in the new graves. It’s unclear whether he actually matched all of the bodies with their markers.

Denver City Cemetery went on to become Cheesman Park. Adjacent to the park the city erected the Denver Botanical Gardens. Every once in a while the Gardens still dig up old caskets. If the people in the park only knew."

My question is, "Whose under it?" (The Neatorama Picture didn't show the name) So of course I had to Dig, Dig, Dig.... And here is the answer -- it is called the "Drake Cabin."

The Denver Public Library Western History Department has some great pictures of the cemetery archived. The art in the park is beautiful and much of it is in need of proper attention.
The Drake Cabin is very cool and was made, I believe, in a stone studio at 36th and Blake. The caption of the photo posted here reads:“In the older part of Riverside Cemetery is a small replica of a log cabin complete with the needs of that day, shovel, pick-axe, etc. It was carved by a well-known early Denver sculptor, Norwegian born Ole Rustad. His niece, Bertha L. Baerresen, says she remembers when it was delivered to Riverside on a flat-bed wagon. It was cut from a large rock and very heavy, of course, and as it was being unloaded, one of the men who was helping stumbled, throwing much of the weight onto her uncle injuring his back. As a result of the accident, her uncle (her mother’s brother) died a short time later. Miss Baerresen, standing beside the cabin in the upper left picture gives an idea of the size of the cabin. The other photo shows the chimney at the back.”


hughgraham said...

Riverside Cemetery is Denver's oldest and most neglected cemetery. There's lots more to see than just the Drake cabin. Check out for more information and links.

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