The Centennial State was made official on August 1st, 1876. Did you know that on that very same day, the first burial would occur at what has become the oldest operating cemetery in Colorado?

Colorado's oldest cemetery still in operation is found at Riverside Cemetery along the South Platte River at 5201 Brighton Blvd in Denver.

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Riverside Cemetery in Denver, Colorado

Denver's first cemetery at Cheesman Park opened for burials in 1860. By 1876, the city moved the graves from Cheesman Park to the new cemetery at Riverside. The site started with about 160 acres, later reduced to about 77. According to the Colorado Encyclopedia, the first Coloradan buried at Riverside Cemetery was Henry H. Walton on June 1st, 1876.

How Many Graves Are at Riverside Cemetery?

Would you have guessed more than 67,000 people are resting in peace at Riverside Cemetery in Denver? The cemetery is home to more than 1000 veterans, with many graves here, including Civil War soldiers who fought for both sides of the conflict.

The Oldest Operating Cemetery in Colorado

Riverside Cemetery will turn 148 years old in 2024. The site was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1994. By 2008, the cemetery was listed as one of Colorado's "most endangered places." The cemetery at Riverside fell into decline by the end of WWII. By 2005, the cemetery was forced to stop burials for a few years and deal with property disputes and the care of the facility.

Today, the cemetery averages about 15 burials per year and remains the oldest operating cemetery in the state of Colorado.

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