Historic Riverside Cemetery, Fairmount’s sister site dates back to 1876 and is Denver area’s pioneer burial plot, holding the distinction of being Denver’s Pioneer Cemetery and oldest operating cemetery.
Riverside is a reflection of the cultural diversity of the early settlers and is the final resting place of many of Colorado’s most notable citizens including Clara Brown, Augusta Tabor, Miguel Otero, Barney and Julia Ford, Cpt. Silas Soule and Gov. John Evans, as well as 1,200 Civil War veterans and three Medal of Honor recipients.
Designated a National Historic District in 1994, Riverside was brought into the Fairmount family in the early 1900s and is the city’s oldest operating cemetery. Stroll through Riverside and you’ll find unique sculptures in granite, marble, limestone and bronze standing as guardians of Colorado’s history. Among the collection of irreplaceable funerary art is a rare zinc soldier monument, part of the largest known collection of zinc monuments in North America.
Thanks to our long history with the community and our impeccable reputation for providing compassionate, dignified care, we steward the memories and remains of some of the most notable citizens of Colorado.
These remains include those of:
- Clara Brown (1800 – 1885), the former slave turned philanthropist.
- Captain Silas Soule (1838 – 1865), the famous Union Army abolitionist and dear friend to Walt Whitman and John Brown.
- Miguel Antonio Otero (1829 – 1882), one of the New Mexico Territory’s most prominent businessmen and politicians.
- Augusta Tabor (1833 – 1895), the first white woman to live in a Colorado mining camp; wife of Horace Tabor, the businessman and politician; and a noted philanthropist in her own right.
- Governor John Evans (1814 – 1897), the noted physician, politician, and businessman.
- Barney Ford (1822 – 1902), the escaped slave who became a civil rights pioneer and wealthy Colorado businessman.
And many others.
Civil War enthusiasts also know Riverside Cemetery as the final resting place for more than 1,200 Civil War veterans.
A History as Rich as Those of its Clients
Riverside Cemetery started as a humble burial plot whose first office doubled as the on-site caretaker’s cottage. Our second office, which was occasionally used as a chapel and holding tomb, was an old stone house on the premises.
The Fairmount family bought Riverside Cemetery in the early 1900s and commissioned renowned architect Frank Edbrooke to design an office, chapel, and crematorium. This building was eventually constructed in the mission prairie style.
Riverside is home to an unparalleled collection of rare and unique burial monuments including the Lester Drake Cabin, the Baker Horse, the George Wise Monument, and the largest collection of zinc monuments found anywhere in the United States.
Indeed, a stroll through our grounds is tantamount to a stroll through the long and storied history of the state of Colorado. You will meet great figures from the past who shaped our present — and together, you can make plans for the future.
In consideration of the many priceless treasures it stewards, Riverside Cemetery was declared a National Historic District in 1994.
The Fairmount Heritage Foundation
Founded in 2000 as a registered 501(c)3 (non-profit corporation), the Fairmount Heritage Foundation pools the talents, interests, and visions of local historians, horticulturalists, and cemetery family members to preserve the rich and diverse assets which Riverside Cemetery and other Fairmount holdings offer to our local and national histories.
Members of Fairmount Heritage Foundation seek to educate our community with an eye toward creating a new generation of guardians who can shepherd these vital resources into our shared future.
Their efforts have proven immensely successful. In 2010, Riverside Cemetery welcomed more than 4,500 visitors through its ongoing series of tours and events. Please note that this tally does not include the many and frequent self-guided tours and individual explorers who enjoy our grounds as a place of reflection and quiet repose on a nearly daily basis.
Contact Us Today to Get Involved or Visit Our Grounds for Yourself
Our trained, courteous, and knowledgeable staff members are always happy to answer your questions and share their enthusiasm for one of Colorado’s most beautiful and valuable historic resources.
Call us today at 303-399-0692 to schedule your tour!
Call 303-399-0692 to schedule your tour of our beautiful grounds.
Support the Fairmount Heritage Foundation
One Year Individual Membership $25Includes membership for one Your choice of one of our tours for you and 5 friends ( history /mystery not included
One Year Family Membership $75Includes the same as an individual membership, but for your entire family.
One Year Premiere Membership $100Includes membership for family
Includes a free copy of history of Riverside cemetery book “Denver’s Riverside Cemetery Where History Lies” by Annett L. StudentIncludes your choice of one of our tours for you and 10 friends (history/mystery not included) Includes 10% discount at the Annual Rose sale for up to 4 roses plants