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Historians discover unmarked mass grave in Pueblo dating back to early 20th century

Mass Grave 1

PUEBLO Colo. (KRDO) -- Historians recently discovered an unmarked mass burial site in one of the oldest portions of the Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo. Roselawn Cemetery says the gravesites date back to the early 20th century.

“We are getting ready to line this area and mark it off with rock," said Lucille Corsentino with Roselawn Cemetery. "We don’t want people walking on this mass grave. We want it to be very respectful.”

Corsentino and students from the Colorado School of the Mines, with grant funds from the Colorado State Historical Fund, used ground-penetrating radar to find hundreds of corpses. The bodies were buried in a series of 3-feet trenches.

“They were in a hurry and they didn’t feel the need to go six feet," said Corsentino. "They were digging by hand. Do you think they were concerned about depth? They were concerned about getting rid of them. That’s an awful way to put it but they were disposing of them.” 

Corsentino says many of the dead stem from the 1918 Spanish Flu and the 1921 Pueblo Flood.  

Image of the 1921 Pueblo Flood

“The 1921 flood was so catastrophic there was so much devastation to Pueblo. I think they were just scrambling and doing the very very best they could.”

Now, Roselawn says they're doing their best to pay tribute to the individuals found. An angel monument will be placed at the foot of the grave to honor their memory.

“Their names and their identities are known only to God," said Corsentino. "We will respect that, and move forward.”  

Local News / Pueblo / Reporter Stories / Video

Dan Beedie

Dan is a bureau reporter based out of Pueblo. Learn more about Dan here.

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