Leadville’s unmarked graves for Irish-American miners, a poem by Phil Woods, photos by Rob Prince

 

Hallowed Ground, A Poem by Phil 

Woods (photos by Rob Prince)

by Rob Prince

Evergreen Cemetery: mounds on the ground are unmarked graves of between 1500 and 2000 people buried in the 1880s, 1890s. It is estimated that three quarters of these are of Irish miners, average age 23 years.

Evergreen Cemetery Leadville: mounds on the ground
are unmarked graves of between 1500 and 2000 people buried
in the 1880s, 1890s. It is estimated that three quarters of these
 are of Irish miners who worked the area’s silver mines,
average age 23 years.
HALLOWED GROUND
Stare at sunken Irish graves unmarked in Leadville’s Evergreen
Commentary.
The bagpipe has stopped playing.The folk singer has ended her
 warm up song.
The stories are so moving,colorful, funny & tragic of
equal measure.
I recall being at the Little Big Horn.
We like to call battlefields—hallowed ground.
At one time Leadville was forty thousand —eighty percent
Irish. Mostly lead & silver miners making three dollars
a day at ten thousand feet.
Too broke to put up a tombstone. Dying like flies in their
twenties. Dying as infants, mothers in childbirth.
My friend Jim Walsh, says they would come out of the heat
of the mines in winter & have their sweat soaked
clothes freeze right to their skin like being armored in
ice. Pneumonia,
TB, influenza, no wonder these survivors of the famine,
 maybe two thousand died; now lie in sunken, forgotten
graves in a high alpine meadow with old pine growing
in amongst their spent bones.
Yes, hallowed ground, not of military battle, but fierce
class war.
Once again saying the history of America can never
be told by Disney.
The strike leader—Michael Mooney—had the audacity
to say he & his owned a corner of our flag because
they sweated & bled for it.
That is why it is a sacred place to begin to understand
the heart breaking truth about this land of promise &
 betrayal.
ormer Denver City Auditor, Dennis Gallagher addressing an audience at Everygrren Cemetery in Leadville, Colorado, where, on

former Denver City Auditor, Dennis Gallagher addressing an audience at Everygreen Cemetery in Leadville, Colorado, where, on October 3, 2016, those present held a wake for those 1500 to 2000 buried in unmarked graves, some three-fourths of them estimated to have been Irish miners, average age 23. Gallagher’s remarks were genuinely touching.
Rob Prince | October 6, 2016 at 10:03 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pFHLn-3Ii

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *