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Lee’s Ferry Cemetery

Lee’s Ferry Cemetery
March 08
11:12 2017

There’s nothing like mixing a little history with entertainment. That’s what happened Tuesday night at the Page Community Center where author Kern Nuttall lectured a large audience on the history of the cemetery at Lee’s Ferry.

The cemetery is just part of Nuttall’s book “In a Better Place; Cemeteries and Gravesites of Grand Canyon.”

Nuttall’s entertaining presentation looked at the cemetery from several angles and included pictures dating back many years, while some were fairly recent.

The first person who was buried there, according to Nuttall, was poor James Jackson. Here was man whose cabin was right next to where the cemetery would be after he was gone.

It seems Mr. Jackson was single, but wanted to marry. He left Lee’s Ferry for Johnson Canyon near Kanab; where there was a gal he thought might accept his proposal. It didn’t work out that way, and he began his trek back in the cold and snow.

Jackson was found crawling on his hands and knees and suffering from frostbite. He was assisted back to Lee’s Ferry, but died hours later of gangrene, brought on by the cold. He was buried outside his cabin, and thus began Lee’s Ferry Cemetery.

The saddest story was that of the four children who died of diphtheria in 1891. Their final resting place is the cemetery at Lee’s Ferry. It is believed they caught the illness from a family that had passed through Lee’s Ferry.

Lee’s Ferry was named for John D. Lee and served as the only place to safely cross the Colorado River for hundreds of miles. It remained in operation from the mid 19th Century until the late 1920’s when Navajo Bridge opened.

Mr. Nuttall is a retired pathologist and lives in Page.

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