Why is there a cemetery, even a small one, at a remote location like Lee’s Ferry? At the head of the Grand Canyon and along an early migration route from Utah into Arizona, the location was determined by the first burial in 1874. Ironically, more is remembered about the first burial than the last, which occurred about 1933. Among the 20 known graves, holding 21 bodies, are four children from Lonely Dell Ranch who died from diphtheria in 1891. Why do half the graves hold infants under 2 years of age? Why was Waddy Ligon, a retired miner from Bisbee, buried so far from home in 1924? Telling the stories in the cemetery reveals interesting details from the history of the Ferry.
Kern Nuttall is a retired pathologist living in Page, Arizona, chosen for the nearby hiking opportunities in Arizona and Utah. His recent book, In a Better Place: Cemeteries & Gravesite of Grand Canyon, includes a chapter on the cemetery at Lee’s Ferry. His wife, Lucinda “Cindy” Stafford works summers as an interpretive ranger at Glen Canyon.
The Glen Canyon Lecture Series is made possible through a partnership between Glen Canyon Natural History Association, the John Wesley Powell Museum and the Page Public Library. Lectures are free to the public and supported by grants and donations. Thank you for supporting your public programs.