Freeland Cemetery: Natrona County, Wyoming

Yesterday (day #8 of our trip) Lisa, my mom, her husband, and I drove about a half-hour west of town to the Freeland Cemetery. Mom had noticed that I have an interest in old-timey cemeteries, so she thought it would be fun to go see a frontier version.

Right around lunchtime, Barry Horn stopped by to show us some of the photographs he made there earlier in the month. When he was done, I felt like I had already been there but was still really excited to see it.

While the names and headstone imagery may be rather different than what you see out our way, this little cemetery out in the middle of nowhere had all the originality and charm that I’ve come to love about how the living memorialize the dead.

What’s interesting to me is that the bodies aren’t so much buried as covered. (And some people have decided that “being laid to rest under the sod” allows for the use of Astro-Turf if real grass doesn’t grow well.) But the tributes to individuality — which I think is a hallmark of Wyoming — really impressed me.

As usual, here are some photographs of the markers and memorial “plaques.” Some of the more unusual names follow.

Bodies covered with dirt, rocks, and driftwood. These bodies were “buried” more than twenty-five years ago and grass hasn’t really started to regrow.

When you can’t grow grass, use what you’ve got.

This mausoleum was built out of petrified wood, rose quartz, and other local minerals.

Click for larger…

Click for larger…

Note the ranch brands on the headstone.

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A little bit of everything.

Click for larger…

Notice the boot boxed in acrylic. We were musing about what we would put in ours.

Doris C. Clark (♀ 1916-2006)
Oh, put my spurs upon my breast,
My rope and saddle tree,
And while the boys lay me to rest,
Go turn my horses free.

Jim L. Nall (♂ 1937-2004)
If tears could build a stairway
And memories a lane,
I’d walk right up to heaven
And bring you home again.

  • Izetta G. Clark (♀ 1908-1973)
  • Homer R. Clark (♂ 1909-1973)
  • Diller W. O’Brien (♂ 1873-1949)
  • Hattie P. Clark (♀ 1875-1948)
  • Rollin A. Clark (♂ 1870-1952)
  • Cordelia M. Cheney (♀ 1834-1906) [1]
  • Baby Towne (no date)
  • Mary Trollope (♀ nd)
  • Lillie Trollope (♀ nd)
  • Emery Crouse (♂ 1902-1970)

[1] — Still-Vice-President Dick Cheney grew up in Natrona County and nominally still resides in Wyoming. We went to the same high school (separated by about 40 years, of course). The football field was renamed in his honor sometime after 2001.

This entry was posted in Burying Grounds, Travel, USA, Western Adventure. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Freeland Cemetery: Natrona County, Wyoming

  1. mary says:

    this is perverse.

    also, don’t kid yourself – you know you’d put a camera in the acrylic! and lisa would put a baseball and a pair of hot shoes.

  2. kim brehm says:

    Barry Horn!!! Holy Cow, I worked at Brooks Lake Lodge in the 1970s as a teenager, God Bless him!!! Totally enjoyed your post!

  3. Eldon davidson says:

    I have been searching for my Ancesters John e Davidson who moved to free land who from my Zion il at around the 1853 ? If any help is out there I would truly be grateful!

  4. Jean Richards says:

    Looking for directions to Freeland Cemetary. We are descendants of Mary and Lillian Trollope. We are in Casper now doing genealogy research. Can you help please?

    Thank you!

  5. Jeff Mather says:

    Here’s how to get there from Casper, head west on WY-220 (CY Ave in Casper) and turn left on WY-487 toward Medicine Bow. After 4-5 miles turn left on Bates Creek Road (just after Circle Drive Road by the school). From here the directions get tricky, since the roads don’t have names and they’re dirt. Take the first left and then the next right and follow the road up and around. All together, it’s probably less than a mile after leaving the paved road. If you’ve gotten to a ranch on your right, you’ve missed the last turn.

    Google Map directions

  6. Joshua Tucker says:

    Please everyone respect the cemetery and the land owners around it. Wish there was a way for you to private message the directions that ways all the little vandals can’t find their way. It been nice to have been able to keep this place sacred and away from the majority of general public. Hope you all enjoy the wonderful little piece of history nestled away in the foothills.

  7. Joshua Tucker says:

    “It has been nice” not “it be nice” typo on my part. And by no means was indirecting that in anyway disrespectful or directing towards anyone. I hope all of you enjoy it.

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