Elk Mountain Cemetery is the kind of place you could pass a thousand times and never know it was there. Of the 75 people who are buried there, only a few tombstones remain on the wind swept hill along Routt County Road 44.
The cemetery is guarded by a cattle gate and a barbed-wire fence and is cared for by neighboring ranchers and members of the Fairplay 4-H Club.
Guarded by the hovering presence of the Sleeping Giant, or Elk Mountain, the cemetery may be the last remnants of a small town called Trull that once existed nearby.
Roger Cusick, president of the National Association for Cemetery Preservation, has archived the history and the names of those buried in cemeteries across Routt County. He found plans at the Routt County Courthouse to lay out a small town near County Road 44 called Trull. Although there was a post office, saloon, stage stop and boarding house at the center of the community of Trull, the town was never officially incorporated.
Trull was named for the pioneer family who moved to the area in the 1880s.
Members of the Trull family still live in the Yampa Valley and in Craig.
The Elk Mountain Cemetery still is used, and a few of the still-standing tombstones were placed there as late as the 1990s, when longtime residents of the area were buried next to pioneers from 1888.
According to the Historical Guide to Routt County, the cemetery contains the graves of many settlers who died during the 1918 flu epidemic.
Roger and Joyce Cusick have been working on an extensive list of burials and historical data for the Elk Mountain Cemetery and other similar cemeteries in Routt County. Their Web site can be accessed through Yampavalley.info.
On the Yampa Valley Web site, click on the History and Genealogy link. Scroll down to the Genealogy link and click on Routt County Cemeteries. There you will find links to more than 50 cemeteries and individual gravesites scattered across remote parts of the county. At the top of the list of cemeteries, there is also a link to the "A to Z Routt County Burial Index," where the Cusicks have painstakingly recorded burials by family name and location from 1880 to 1993. They are working to update their list to the present, Roger Cusick said.
"This is a good resource for county history and for genealogists in the area," he said.
The cemetery information Web site officially went up in fall 2004, and the Cusicks welcome any information from families they might be missing. Roger Cusick can be contacted by e-mail at nacpinc@hotmail. com.
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