Scare Up Some History: Loveland Burial Park/Lakeside Cemetery

Cemeteries have a reputation of being spooky, portrayed as places where paranormal activity is nearly certain. Perhaps this is why our interest in them peaks during the month of October, when everyone is looking for a good scare.

On the far north edge of the Downtown District lies the Loveland Burial Park and Lakeside Cemetery. Sharon Danhauer, longtime Loveland resident and member of the Loveland Historical Society, gave us an inside look at the history of the cemetery and some notable figures laid to rest there. While we didn’t hear anything that gave us the chills, we did learn about Loveland’s rich history and those that came before us.

Lakeside Cemetery was opened in 1880 to address the needs of the growing Loveland community, with the west side of the cemetery opening in 1912 named Loveland Burial Park. Looking to combine the two and bring them under city management, both sides were purchased by the City of Loveland in 1919. While the first burial took place in 1880, over 50 graves are even older. Most were relocated in 1884 from the old St. Louis cemetery.

The oldest headstone belongs to HLW Peterson, who was struck by lightning on the Cherokee Trail near Namaqua. Moved from the trail west of town to the cemetery, his grave is dated 1854. Just next to him lies the grave of Mexican Joe, Jose Rosendo, who was also killed by lighting in 1870. An employee and friend of Mariano Medina, the first permanent settler in the Big Thompson Valley, Joe was herding sheep on the Marianna Butte. He was buried where he fell, with his grave marked by pioneers up to present day. With the development of the Marianna Butte golf course, Joe’s grave was moved from one of the fairways to Lakeside Cemetery, where a memorial remembers him.

Once located outside of the hustle and bustle of town, the grounds have now been surrounded by new developments. These led to a new name for the lake found in Lakeside Cemetery, changing from its original Cemetery Lake to Silver Lake in 1958. Traditions from long ago remain today, with graves facing east and the bride on the right when couples are buried together.

Sharon offers tours of the cemetery for a suggested donation of $7, during which she points out notable names and entertaining headstones – one of the more memorable reads “I told you that I was sick.” You can reach Sharon via email or phone: or 970.290.0169.

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