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Route 66 News

The graveyard at Sitgreaves Pass

I stumbled onto this video Wednesday — a visit to an apparent cemetery at a Sitgreaves Pass scenic overlook, just off Oatman Road, aka Route 66, near Oatman, Ariz.:

The person behind the Social Bootlegging account on YouTube had this description of the clip:

I pulled onto a random pull-off along Route 66 at Sitgreaves Pass to take pictures of the canyon below. Before getting back in my car, I decided to follow the whispered sound of a bell and discovered an unmarked, hidden group of “graves”/ memorials. It was a lovely and exciting discovery that I would have completely missed if not for the little bell places there by someone at some point in time. There are many more crosses and memorials than can be seen in the video. Lots to explore and read.

It turns out this is not a graveyard, really. Jackie Rowland, vice president of the Oatman Chamber of Commerce, said the grave markers actually are memorials to deceased people whose cremains are scattered at the site. Sitgreaves Pass remains a popular stopping point because one can see the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada from there.

Rowland, who’s lived in Oatman for 27 years, says people have scattered ashes and erected memorials at the Black Mountains site for as long as she’s resided in the area. She said it’s not uncommon for friends of the deceased to hold quiet ceremonies, or folks throwing raucous “going-away parties” there. “We had one where there was a 21-gun salute,” she said.

2 thoughts on “The graveyard at Sitgreaves Pass

  1. Lee

    Those memorials are common throughout the southwest. Called “descansos” by the locals they are simply roadside memorials to the deceased.

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