Within the boundaries of Kimshew Cemetery District are a number of old, pioneer cemeteries. Most of the graves are unmarked and nearly all their residents’ names are lost to history, but the sanctity of the sites remains. Two of these are the Inskip Pioneer Cemetery, and the Butte Meadows Cemetery.
The town of Inskip was named by the discoverer of gold there, Mr. Enskeep, who discovered gold there in 1857. The Paradise Genealogical Society Book notes: “The town of Inskip lies above Stirling City. In the spring of 1858, Mike Robinson and Pres Longley laid out the town of Inskip.” Writing in Helltown in 1882, Longley penned a poem appropriate for the town, telling of the sad, lonely lives of the once-eager gold seekers:
“Still grasping in their fingers old
The tools that dug the earth for gold;
Still hoping for that great reward
For which they toiled so long and hard
No woman’s loving smile is there
To cheer them in their long despair,
It is the tale so often told -
They’ve thrown away their lives for gold.”
The Inskip Pioneer Cemetery is located on the old route of Humbug Stagecoach Road, about 1 ¼ miles from the old Inskip Inn on the left side of the road. There about 16 graves with no markers there, and an old wooden fence that surrounds the cemetery. A bronze plaque, placed by one of the founders of Kimshew Cemetery District, Annie Warren, reads, “Inskip Cemetery. Those who rest here are known only to God.”
The other cemetery is nestled in the mountain town of Butte Meadows, and appropriately named Butte Meadows Cemetery. It is located on Scout Road, and is surrounded by a wooden fence. It does have some headstones, including one for Fred L. Buttner, was buried in 1899. He was a native of Germany.
We don’t have a lot of records on these cemeteries. The district would like to do some GPR (ground penetrating radar) searches to locate graves and make a detailed map of these, and all our pioneer cemeteries.
The Kimshew Cemetery District also has other smaller grave sites in the Butte Meadows area, ranging from six graves down to one. The McGann Cemetery has six, and is located on Humboldt Road on the left heading north, just up from the Outpost in Butte Meadows.
To respect and honor these pioneers, the district continues to preserve these sites. Each year, our manager takes a California Conservation Corp crew to these locations to maintain the final resting places of those who built what we have today, and who reside in these historic cemeteries.
By Trevor H. Avram,