Colquette Cemetery Restoration


Initiative Fractal's tenth and final initiative was to restore, as much as possible, Colquette Cemetery on the outskirts of Walnut Ridge. In many ways it is a sister cemetery to Mt. Zion-- many of the same families have relatives buried at both sites, including the Agees, Colquettes, Oakleys, and Morans. Though Colquette Cemetery was started in about 1869, the rate of burials apparently declined by the turn of the century, and the latest burial dates are from 1903. Sometime in the next century the rural cemetery was desecrated and plowed under, its gravestones thrown in a heap except for one plot saved by an iron fence surrounding it.

Due to the irreversible damage done, a full restoration of the cemetery was not possible, but Initiative Fractal was able to improve the cemetery in several small but meaningful ways. The cast iron plot fence was primed and painted, weeds were cleared away, and a metal sign installed listing the name of the cemetery. The heap of markers was transformed so that most of the markers are now upright, with the names facing the outside of the rectangle. Landscape fabric and river rocks were added around the stones to discourage weeds and rodent dens, and a protective dirt berm and metal corner stakes were added around the concentration of stones to help protect the stones from errant farm machinery. In the virtual realm, the cemetery was added to Open Street Maps and Google Maps and pictures of the gravestones were added to Colquette's FindaGrave page.