Leadville’s Legacy:

Modern Voices of the Evergreen Cemetery

Hear from those who were part of the creation of the Leadville Memorial and who have been impacted by the history uncovered in the Evergreen Cemetery.


“I got to visit the cemetery, and it was a day I would never forget. Because doing the research, you would have learned about the conditions they would have went through. You would have been able to understand that a lot of the people who died were very young… But reading about it, and doing the research is one thing. When you actually stand in Leadville, and stand in the cemetery, and look around, and see the graves that just seemed to extend like it went on for miles, and the silence, and the trees, it was just something I would never forget.”

Kathryn Geraghty

“My great uncle, Michael Shay is buried there [in Leadville] with his wife Kate Driscoll. They immigrated from County Kerry Ireland, and eventually made it to Leadville. He worked on the railroad, he was apparently not a minor and did a lot of work on the railroad. And he’s in a part of the cemetery that does have headstones. I’ve seen his headstone. I’ve been at work on my family tree for nearly 50 years, and it was just maybe five years ago that I was finally able to find him. In Ireland he was S-H-E-A, and when he was in Colorado he was S-H-A-Y, and hence, that’s why I had a heck of a time finding him. He was kind of a lost person, and then I lucked out and and found him. And then subsequently learned about the cemetery.”

Jerry Skinner

“There’s usually somebody in a family somewhere that’s the family history nut and that would be me! I do love local history and to to dig into past lives. You know, if you read about the Gold Rush, and the Silver Rush, just boom towns in general it’s one thing, but then to take particular people and families, and watch them be part of that history, it really is engaging. And so I’ve done this for my family history, for my own family, and hopefully then, it will be passed on. But I feel like it’s one of my contributions to my own family.”

Ruth Sando

These interviews were conducted by Harriet Falconetti thanks to funding from the Heineman Foundation. Website work by Jessica Valdez.