Carbon Study by the University of Wyoming
Page by Bob Leathers
2021 June 11: Alexandra Kelly, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, History and Anthropology from the University of Wyoming, announced plans to study the Carbon area and the Carbon Cemetery.
I have a joint appointment at UW in History and Anthropology and have been developing an archaeological project at Carbon with my colleague, Jason Toohey. We also have a MA student named Katie Maag, who is mapping and geo-referencing the cemetery. We will all be out at Carbon from June 28-July 7 with our field school and I thought you might be interested in stopping by if you are around this summer. (Alexandra Celia Kelly, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, History and Anthropology, University of Wyoming)
2021 June 28 - July 7: Phase 1 of the Old Carbon Study took place.
2021 August 12: Katie Maag described her part of the Carbon Study.
"Through this project, I intended to create a functional digital map of the Carbon cemetery using GIS mapping, drone imaging, and analysis of historical document such as cemetery and census records and hand drawn maps. This digital map will then be used to examine burial patterns within the space of the cemetery such as ethnic distinctions, documented vs. undocumented burials, and dates of burial within the cemetery. These patterns will help to show the cemetery at Carbon as a central aspect of the community both in the past and continuing into the present. This project also serves as a potential starting point for future investigations at Carbon and lays some of the groundwork for an analysis of the community as a whole.
My faculty advisor for this project is Dr. Jason Toohey and my committee members include Dr. Alexandra Kelly, Dr. Phil Roberts, and Dr. Rick Weathermon, all from the University of Wyoming. I have received funding from the A&S Dean’s Graduate Scholars grant through the University and the June Frison Memorial Fund of the George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology." (Kathryn Maag Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology University of Wyoming)
2021 August: When considering burials in the Carbon, Cemetery by ethnicity. the following comments were provided by Kattie Maag:
I also wanted to let you know about some other stuff that I've been finding re: 1903 burials by ethnicity.
I searched the census records, and of the 12 miners that died in the disaster buried at Carbon, 5 of them were in the 1900 census as residents of Carbon:John Deacon Jones, listed as a Drayman who owned a home; Henry Reese, listed as a coal miner living in a rented home with his parents Elizabeth and Thomas who are buried at Carbon; Joseph Sheffield and James Smith, both listed as coal miners who owned a home in Carbon; and James Watson Jr, who is listed as a part of his father James Watson Sr.'s (a coal miner) household, living in a home they owned. Watson Jr appears to have a sister Emily buried in Carbon and who I assume is a brother John who died in 1891 who he shares a gravestone with. John Deacon Jones also appears to have family that was buried in Carbon before his death, though I didn't find them in the census - this might be because there is no 1890 census available to search through as it was destroyed entirely in a fire in DC in 1921. I did not find any of the While family in the census either, possibly for the same reason.
I also found Mat Hakomaki, listed as a Finnish boarder in Carbon in 1900 as Matt Hakomaki who was buried in a marked grave in Hanna. From the Finnish people buried in unmarked graves, I found Henry Oja/Ojala, listed as Henry Ojala, also a boarder. John Alahuta/Huhta might be there as well, listed as John Anala whose wife was named Huhta, and they rented a home in Carbon; and also possibly Andrew Koski/Andry Korkiakaskilisted as August Koski in the census who was a boarder in Carbon (this one is a bit more of a stretch).
Either way, it seemed to me from this data around half of the miners buried in Carbon from the UK had family ties to the town or to the cemetery (though not all of them), while the 2-4 Finnish miners I could find in the Carbon census who theoretically would have had ties to the town were mostly single boarders with no apparent family or monetary ties to Carbon, or John Alahuta who might not actually have any be the person I found in the census at all, and if he is, it was only him and his wife in a home they did not own.
2021 September 7:
A cemetery can be an archaeological site. The Carbon Cemetery, located nine miles southwest of Medicine Bow, Wyo., in the ghost town of Carbon, contains 239 marked gravesites, 43 of which are workers killed in the Old Carbon coal mines. A stable boss searching for stray mules, who was attacked and killed by Native Americans, is considered Carbon Cemetery’s first burial in 1869. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. #WyoArchaeologyMonth