In the South Dakota Historical Collections, Mildred Fielder,
wrote in 1953:
"Quite apart from the homes but near enough for easy access,
the graveyard lifts its wooden head boards lonely and dignified.
Someone was a craftsman in Carbonate Camp. Fine wood carving
is on one of the headboards and vestiges of similar carving
can be seen on others more weathered but still upright at the
head of their graves. Eleven graves can be found for a certainty.
Until the summer of 1953, one name could still be read with
ease, that of John Tripp. "In Memory of John Tripp, Born 1835,
Died Feb. 8th, 1888" was chiseled in the head board of a protected
leaning slab, and gentle swirls decorated the inscription above
and below the legend. Somebody cared enough, for he died "with
no property or valuables" and no relatives to mourn him, to
put a great deal of work to his wooden headboard.
All the other graves are quiet and nameless. This is a spot
that holds tragic memories for Mrs. Walton, and she Identified
the nameless mounds that held her two small sisters, Melody
and Baby Bryant. Others buried in the forest cemetery were Joseph
Nathaniel Ritter, a saloon owner in Carbonate and Central City
(and my 4th great grandfather-Nicole Shiffrar). Joe's grave
is marked by tumbling remains of a board enclosure. Bessie Linkenfelter
and Lovey Ingram in two graves with headboards still standing;
Kittie Forrest, the daughter of Ike D.E. Forrest, and Frank
Brady. James(Jay) DeLos Ringley, son of William Jacob Ringley
and Rhoda Ann Ringley (Prothero) (Also my 4th great grandparents-Nicole
Shiffrar) died at the age of 5 of throat disease according to
his obituary. William and Rhoda ran the boarding & bath house
in town, and sometimes fed up to 250 miners a day. William also
was a miner, constable, and ran the post office at one point
after coming to Carbonate Camp. James is buried down and to
the left of Joseph Nathaniel Ritter. Of the other children's
graves, one is that of the one and a half year old son of Randall
Lewis who died in 1890, and another is that of the Brady boy,
a diphtheria victim. At one time Rhoda Ann Ringley (Prothero)
and the Wilmarth children were buried here, but when the town
moved, their bodies were moved too. Pat Martham's children are
not here either. They were buried in Deadwood. Some of the others
were buried in the Terry Cemetery in Lead, SD.
Diphtheria, mine accidents, suicide, infant mortality of undetermined
causes---heartache of more than one sort was in Carbonate, but
"what a rip roaring camp it was" says Frank B. Bryant with a
touch of nostalgia.
Their headstones have withered away in the raw elements, and
with time, but they will always be in my thoughts. I hope others
will enjoy their story, as have I."