The Bingham Hill Cemetery and Historic Bingham Farm

On July 6th, Historic Larimer County hosted a two part tour. We started out at the Bingham Hill Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Larimer County, where Judy Jackson shared the history of the cemetery itself as well as that of several people who have been buried there. Next we headed over Bingham Hill to the historic Bingham Farm where Ron Sladek gave us a tour of a surprisingly intact farm complex complete with original homesteading cabin, a house designed by local architect Montezuma Fuller, a very old barn and silo, and much more. The Bingham Farm is private property, so this was a wonderful opportunity to see a historic place with permission from the owner. What follows are photographs from the Bingham Hill Cemetery and Bingham Farm tour.

Judy Jackson tells about Rose Brinks's book about the history of the cemetery and the people that were buried there.

Judy Jackson is holding a copy of Rose Brinks’ book in this photo. The cemetery is on Rose’s property and no one had every recorded who was buried there. So Rose spent several years reading through newspapers and interviewing people and has documented as many people that have been buried in the cemetery as she could.

A crowd of people stand in a clearing surrounded by trees. The grass is green and only a few headstones can be seen.

The tour group stand around Judy as she gives the story of the cemetery. The resent rains which caused the original tour to be delayed also gave us a beautiful green setting for this tour.

Judy Jackson stands beside a marker put up in the 1980s.

Judy stopped to tell us about a marker that was set up in the cemetery in the 1980s to honor those for whom there was no other marker who had been buried there. (Many early markers were made of wood and have long since disintegrated.)

Several older and newer gravestones stand surrounded by a stone or cement wall in the cemetery.

When a stone becomes so broken and fragile that it can no longer be repaired, money is raised to purchase a new stone. The old stone is retained so people can see the original, but the new stone enables visitors to read the original inscription. As much as possible designs and text on the new stones is identical to the original.

Judy stands surrounded by the tour group with headstones in the foreground.

Every stone tells a story, which Judy shared with our group.

A white sign on two metal poles states that this is the Bingham Hill Cemetery.

All of the work that is done to maintain the cemetery and repair or replace broken or stolen items is done by volunteers. This sign for the cemetery was the work of a couple of volunteers as well.

Field with a green tree to the left and in the background. White stones and crosses dot the landscape.

The Bingham Hill Cemetery is away from the road and set in a pastoral setting, which could be why it is such a well beloved cemetery in the area. People come from all over the world to visit, as documented in the guest books that have been maintained for decades by Rose and Judy.

A wood frame barn stands precariously over a cut stone foundation.

This barn on the Bingham Farm can be seen from the road. What can’t be seen is that when a nearby barn was pulled down, the entire back wall of this barn went with it and is currently completely open to the field behind it.

A circle of stones with a doorway stands amid green grass with a cement trough to the left side.

This stone circular structure was the base of a water tank. The water could easily be poured into the trough to the left.

A wood frame barn stands at left with a brick crenelated silo to the right.

The barn and silo make a picturesque image.

Two mostly white horses look warily at the photographer from behind a metal fence.

These two horses were curious what we were up to. Either that, or they had some history they were hoping to share with us.

Ron Sladek points to a stone building with a wooden door.

Ron Sladek pointed out the old milk barn which looks like a one story structure, but it was built into a hill with a second story beneath what’s shown here.

A wood frame 2-story building that is wider than it is tall stands amid a grassy lawn.

The original one story cabin is still located within this building to the lower right. Three more additions were added over time including the second story. The siding was added some time in the early 1900s.

Wood beams to the left form a log cabin with an addition consisting of beams and boards wedged together.

This is a close up of the back side of the older house where the original cabin beams can be seen at left and an oddly “grouted” addition can be seen to the right.

A four square brick house with a hipped roof and a wide, deep porch stands behind trimmed bushes.

This house was designed by famed local architect Montezuma Fuller.

 stone wall stands over a field.

The advantage of being on a tour like this was that things that looked like one thing actually turned out to be something else. Most of us had just assumed that this wall was set up over a lower field to keep horses in. It was odd that the ground on one side of the wall was higher than another, but we didn’t give it much thought. But Ron pointed out that there used to be a barn in this location and the “stone wall” was actually the foundation of that building. When he passed around an old photo of the property, it was one of those “ah ha!” moments when an oddity suddenly made a whole lot of sense.

A pastoral seen with a dirt road heading off into the distance at left with a tree beside it and a grassy field to the right.

This was another “No way!” moment. Ron took us to see what looked like a normal old field with a normal old irrigation ditch running through it. But what we didn’t realize was that the hill to the left was actually where the old Greeley, Salt Lake, and Pacific train line ran on its way to Stout.