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Carbonate Camp Cemetery
Carbonate, Lawrence County, South Dakota

Contributed by Nicole Shiffrar, [robb22@msn.com].

In the South Dakota Historical Collections, Mildred Fielder, wrote in 1953:

"Quite apart from the homes but near enough for easy access, the graveyard lifts its wooden head boards lonely and dignified. Someone was a craftsman in Carbonate Camp. Fine wood carving is on one of the headboards and vestiges of similar carving can be seen on others more weathered but still upright at the head of their graves. Eleven graves can be found for a certainty. Until the summer of 1953, one name could still be read with ease, that of John Tripp. "In Memory of John Tripp, Born 1835, Died Feb. 8th, 1888" was chiseled in the head board of a protected leaning slab, and gentle swirls decorated the inscription above and below the legend. Somebody cared enough, for he died "with no property or valuables" and no relatives to mourn him, to put a great deal of work to his wooden headboard.

All the other graves are quiet and nameless. This is a spot that holds tragic memories for Mrs. Walton, and she Identified the nameless mounds that held her two small sisters, Melody and Baby Bryant. Others buried in the forest cemetery were Joseph Nathaniel Ritter, a saloon owner in Carbonate and Central City (and my 4th great grandfather-Nicole Shiffrar). Joe's grave is marked by tumbling remains of a board enclosure. Bessie Linkenfelter and Lovey Ingram in two graves with headboards still standing; Kittie Forrest, the daughter of Ike D.E. Forrest, and Frank Brady. James(Jay) DeLos Ringley, son of William Jacob Ringley and Rhoda Ann Ringley (Prothero) (Also my 4th great grandparents-Nicole Shiffrar) died at the age of 5 of throat disease according to his obituary. William and Rhoda ran the boarding & bath house in town, and sometimes fed up to 250 miners a day. William also was a miner, constable, and ran the post office at one point after coming to Carbonate Camp. James is buried down and to the left of Joseph Nathaniel Ritter. Of the other children's graves, one is that of the one and a half year old son of Randall Lewis who died in 1890, and another is that of the Brady boy, a diphtheria victim. At one time Rhoda Ann Ringley (Prothero) and the Wilmarth children were buried here, but when the town moved, their bodies were moved too. Pat Martham's children are not here either. They were buried in Deadwood. Some of the others were buried in the Terry Cemetery in Lead, SD.

Diphtheria, mine accidents, suicide, infant mortality of undetermined causes---heartache of more than one sort was in Carbonate, but "what a rip roaring camp it was" says Frank B. Bryant with a touch of nostalgia.

Their headstones have withered away in the raw elements, and with time, but they will always be in my thoughts. I hope others will enjoy their story, as have I."


 

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