Contact: Susan Gillespie
Seated at the base of the magnificent Sangre De Cristo Range and surrounded by the lush hay meadows of the Wet Mountain Valley, the Ula Cemetery provides a dramatic yet tranquil setting for a final resting place. Ula cemetery occupies land donated by the Kettle family and bordered by ranches still owned and operated by founding ranch families. Five of the seven current Ula Cemetery Trustees are from founding ranch families and are dedicated to maintaining the rural traditions of our community.
The Cemetery has deep history in the Wet Mountain Valley. In 1887 the nearby town of Ula became the first county seat of Custer County. Ula was a supply center for ranchers and later became a stage stop, with a peak population of 375 residents. Will Kettle befriended Chief Ouray which probably led to the name Ula, said to be a misspelling of Ouray by the U.S. postal service. The donated Kettle parcel established the Ula Cemetery in 1872. The Kettle family also donated more land in 2000 for future expansion. Many of the early names that you will see in the cemetery comprise a who’s who of Custer County history. Names such as Kennicott, Menzel, Falkenberg, Koch and Camper are found on headstones and were used, along with others, to name the roads and paths within the cemetery.
Thanks to the technical expertise and experience of the Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation and a generous donation by the Samuelson Family we are establishing the Ula Cemetery Perpetual fund. To help us maintain and improve the cemetery into the future. Cemeteries all face the same difficulty of funding for their maintenance and improvement, especially at the point that the space is all sold and even more so when and if it is fully occupied. All of us want our final resting place to be cared for and preserved. Establishing this fund will carry us into the future and assure that the cemetery needs will be met.
The expenses for the maintenance and enhancement of the cemetery including regular mowing of grass, repair and improvement of fencing, planting and watering of trees, road surfacing, and grave/memorial maintenance can be met by this continuing funding resource.
2021 is the inaugural year for the Cemetery Fund and with the matching support of the Samuelson Family we hope to establish funding that will help to provide ongoing care for the Ula Cemetery.