Monday, August 13, 2018

Urraca Cemetery, Great Sand Dunes Oasis Campground, Mosca, Colorado

We stayed at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis Campground when we visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I look at Google Maps when we get to a campground and in the middle of the tent sites I saw an icon for Urraca Cemetery. I walk the dogs on the roads that go around the tent sites and today I actually found the cemetery.  There are three grave sites in this particular cemetery, so I had to do some research to find out the history of the three occupants.

The cemetery is at the location of the old Blanca Mining Camp, near the mouth of North Arrasta Gulch. In 1895 the camp was thriving and was over one mile square. By 1896 it was deserted. The name Bad Booze Cemetery comes from this history:  In 1895 Jim Bowerman was sent to Hooper for 5 gallons of grain alcohol for a celebration. He asked the druggist for "good alcohol", but the druggist misunderstood him and gave him wood alcohol. Most of the men in the camp did not like the taste, but Jim Bowerman and Jack Reimer both died from it. The third grave is believed to be the local post master. A relative of Jim Bowerman replaced the small wooden crosses with new memorials. 

After doing some research, I did not find anything to put this mine near the North Arrasta Gulch, which I found to be near Silverton, Colorado. The Blanca Mine was nowhere near Silverton, but very close to Alamosa and the Great Sand Dunes, where the Oasis Campground is currently located, so I don't know where the person who put that information into WikiTree.

Blanca Mine is a past producer vein deposit site in the Rocky Mountain System of Colorado, The United States. It is a small deposit, located in the Blanca District mining district and is not considered to be of world-class significance.  Gold and lead deposits are documented at "Blanca Mine." Gold is present at a grade sufficient to have a strong effect on the economics of an excavation project. It may even be viable as the only commodity mined. The lead at this site is economically interesting but not currently recoverable.  This deposit has operated in the past as a small scale production but was closed at the time it was surveyed. There were no known plans to reopen it. The most important method or feature used in the discovery of economic minerals at this site was ore-mineral in place. Production at this site spanned 1928 -1934.

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