Monday, April 10, 2017

How You Can Save History! Adopt A Block

Evergreen Cemetery has the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was once revered by many locals as "the largest outdoor rose garden in the world", whose sweet scent could be noted as far as a mile away.

No automatic alt text available.The cemetery, which covers about 220 acres, is comprised of blocks, laid out much like a typical city.  Currently there are approximately 150 blocks, and each may contain up to several hundred gravesites.  Although the City provides basic grounds maintenance such as irrigation and mowing, care of the monuments and sites in each block is not provided.  Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society, a non-profit partner with the Cemetery, fills the gap through its Adopt A Block Program, staffed solely by volunteers.  The Society is seeking additional residents to adopt a block of their choosing and become a Block Captain. 

No automatic alt text available.Becoming a Block Captain is easy and rewarding.  You can select any block you wish.  Typically blocks in the older sections need more TLC, as there are fewer family members left to provide care.  Once you have chosen a block, you will receive guidelines for caring for your adopted area.  You make your own schedule, depending on your available time.  You may be involved in trimming shrubbery, small plants or roses, picking up debris, straightening small monuments, reporting damage or vandalism, and generally keeping the area tidy.  Those with an interest in photography may wish to photograph all the monuments in their block to document their current condition. Training is provided periodically on the proper methods of cleaning monuments without harming them, and repairing minor damage.  During warmer months, Block Captains solicit volunteers to help with special project days. 

Adopting a block would be an excellent way for companies or corporations to foster group activities and team building.  Schools, clubs, teams, hobby groups, churches and many other organizations may enjoy adopting a piece of our local  history.

By adopting a block, you will enable our city to keep the unique and beautiful legacy that is Evergreen Cemetery enjoyable for generations to come.  For more information or details about becoming a Block Captain, please contact Dianne Hartshorn at 719-385-6251, or Mark Robbins at 727-244-9031.  Visit us on Facebook or go to Evergreencemeterysociety.com or send an email to evergreencemeterysociety@yahoo.com

Friday, July 29, 2016

JC England Remains Laid to Rest-75 Years Later



WWII Pearl Harbor Sailor to be laid to rest, Evergreen Cemetery, August 13, 2016


The England family, Evergreen Cemetery, and the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society cordially invite you to join us in honoring John Charles England, whose remains will be laid to rest after 75 years.
John Charles England,  a 20 years old Navy ensign, woke that Sunday morning filled with anticipation. His young bride and three week old daughter, who he had yet to meet, were on their way to visit  from the states.  The exact date was December 7, 1941.

JC England was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  JC rescued three of his shipmates before he perished.
His remains rested in an unmarked grave in the National Cemetery in Hawaii for 75 years. Through the diligence of his granddaughter Bethany and others involved in the long process of identifying those remains, JC will finally be laid to rest next to his parents buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
Join us on Saturday August 13th, as the John Charles England family, Evergreen Cemetery and the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society turn back the clocks of time to 1941 as we honor the bravery of JC England and the persistence of his family and celebrate the greatest generation.
Refreshments and celebration of JC England to follow at the Evergreen Chapel
When:  Saturday August 13th, 2016
10:00 am
What: JC England Graveside Interment
Where: Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society
1005 Hancock Expressway
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-385-6251


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Looking for Mr. Charles H. Pratt


Beneath the grounds of Evergreen Cemetery  80,000  stories are waiting to be told. Many of those secrets are easily discovered.  Others take a little bit more digging and may prove more elusive than we planned.
While researching burials during the 1930's, I discovered  Charles H. Pratt who died in 1930. He is buried with his son, Eugene Pratt who died in 1939. Eugene Pratt served during WWI and has a Veterans stone.

His father, who rests behind him also served in the military, but unfortunately is
unmarked.

Charles H. Pratt enlisted on March 12, 1875 and was discharged on April 6th, 1881. He served in the 10th US Cavalry. What makes Mr.  Pratt so unique and so special is he was a Buffalo Soldier. Sharing the history of the Buffalo Soldiers has been an  integral part of Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society events for many years. Each Memorial Day the local 10th US Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers pay tribute to George H. Mason, who served during the Spanish American War.

To obtain a headstone for Mr. Pratt, proof of his service must be documented. The NARA (National Archives Records Administration)  requests detailed documentation.  Colorado Veterans Grave Registration was submitted, however, it is not considered the necessary information needed to prove his military service. After speaking with numerous sources both in Colorado as well as in Washington DC, and running into brick walls, we are sharing this story , in hopes, a descendant of Mr. Pratt, will be able to provide the necessary information we need to be able to place a VA marker on his grave.

Following is the Pratt Family information.
Charles H. Pratt   DOB  1858 Maryland. He is listed as a Mulatto- he worked as a barber in a local hotel

Bettie Pratt (wife) was born in Missouri in 1865-she is listed as a dressmaker. Her parents were both born in Virginia.

Eugene Pratt was born in 1886 in Colorado (son)
Sarah Pratt Spouse
Eugene Pratt-Son born in 1918

Myrel Pratt was born in 1898 in Nebraska
Myrel Pratt Scott (married) was buried in 1931

Mr. Pratt and his family lived in Colorado Springs for many years.

It was our plan for this Memorial Day to honor Mr. Charles H. Pratt with an unveiling of his Veteran's Marker. He has lied unmarked for 86 years.

Please help us locate Mr. Pratt's family by sharing this story.
Please contact us via email at
evergreencemeterysociety@yahoo.com

Friday, January 29, 2016

Stopping to Smell The Roses

 I  love nothing more than taking  time to stroll through the cemetery.  Taking the time to stroll through the blocks themselves will allow you to discover little known treasures  you may not have noticed simply driving through or staying on the main roads.

However this treasure was not hidden at all.

The Dough Boy statue in Evergreen Cemetery is situated  along the main road and located in front of the historic chapel. Needless to say is it very noticeable.

 At the foot of the statue is a vase with what are now dried flowers, since they have been sitting there since December.




Visitors to the cemetery oftentimes place flowers and such on graves whether they are family or not. I didn't pay much attention to this as I figured it was someone  placing the flowers for no particular reason.

As I was walking past, I stopped, turned back around and decided to just see what this vase was about.



There was a note attached.

So next time you are at the cemetery, allow yourself to wander and take time to find those little hidden treasures.