Thursday, December 13, 2007

As I am now, so shall you be...


Remember me, as you walk by
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so shall you be
Remember this, and follow me.
To follow you, I'll not consent 
Until I know, which way you went.
Finally the rains have stopped, leaving everything bright and clear. The temperature this morning was a perfect 45ยบ. We headed to the Tonto Ranger's Station to buy a wood cutting permit so we can take firewood from the National Forest. We always enjoy chatting with our knowledgeable local Forest Rangers and looking around at the exhibits and gift shop at the visitor's center. The gift shop is a great resource for books about local history.
Since the roads are still a bit too muddy to do much back road exploring, we decided to take a walk up to the old Roosevelt Cemetery. The cemetery was establish during the building of Roosevelt Dam between 1903 to 1911 as a final resting place for workers killed during the dam construction as well as early local residents of the Roosevelt area. The cemetery is located in a pretty spot on a hillside overlooking Roosevelt Lake, only about a mile from the dam.
One cannot help but wonder about the men who toiled so hard and gave up their lives to eke out a living in such a treacherous place during the dam construction. Most graves now are only marked by wooden crosses, a few have carved tombstones indicating that they were stone masons who actually cut the stone used in the dam construction. There are very few graves identified with names, although 75 people are buried there.
It is estimated that at least 10 men were killed during construction of RooseveltDambut these figures may not be accurate since death records did not include Mexican or Indian workers.
There are several hiking trails leading off into the Superstitions, but we'll reserve them to return another day.