Chapel Hill Cemetery, located on Colorado Boulevard just north of Arapahoe Road, was established in the very early 1950s on close to 115 acres of land. At the time the area had few residences and was mostly open space. Now residences line all the property edges, except an unused portion of land being cleared for expansion towards the southeast. Comparing old and new maps, it appears several acres were sold off surrounding the property, which now totals 85 acres including the undeveloped areas.
As with several cemeteries in the Denver area, there were rules for being able to be buried at Chapel Hill and rules for particular sections. Below is an excerpt from “The Deed for Interment Rights”: (dated 9-21-1953)
“This conveyance, and all the right, title and interest hereby conveyed in and to the parcel of land above described, is subject to all laws and ordinances, and to the following conditions:
No transfer or assignment of any right or interest acquired by the grantee shall be valid without such transfer and approval of the transferee by the grantors first being properly recorded on the book of the cemetery corporation.
- No interment shall ever be made except for the remains of members of the white Caucasian race.
- No monument or other memorial, tree, plant, object or embellishment of any kind shall be placed upon, altered or removed from said parcel of land by grantee without the written consent of the grantor.
- The herein enumerated conditions shall not be considered as the only limitations and grantee’s right, title and interest shall be subject to the rules and regulations now in effect, or which may hereafter be adopted or enacted for the control, regulation and government of said cemetery. The rules and regulations are on file for inspection in the office of the grantor and by reference herein become a part hereof.
- The conditions, reservations, restrictions, rules and regulations herein mentioned and referred to are binding on the grantee, his heirs, devisees, executors, administrators and assigns, and are enforceable only by the grantor or its successors in interest.
- Of course, the rules have changed over the years, and we were informed that the section rules are no longer applied (ie. you don’t have to be a Mason now to be buried in the Masonic Garden) and B especially is no longer true.
The cemetery sections proposed on the 1953 map are: Masonic Garden, Temple Garden, Garden of the old Rugged Cross, Garden of the Apostles, Garden of the Sermon on the Mount/ Gesthesmene, Garden of the Last Supper, Garden of Meditation, Garden of Everlasting Life, Chapel Garden, Garden of Victory, Garden of Nativity, The Cloisters (one of the mausoleum areas) and Mausoleum Court.
Currently, there are 2 outdoor mausoleums, a cremation garden, several private estates and the following sections: Masonic Garden, Apostles, Gesthesmene, Last Supper, Victory, Devotion, Serenity, Zion Garden, Everlasting Lawn Crypts, Garden of Remembrance and perhaps the most gruesome: Babyland. Although there is a large concentration of children interred in that area, there are a few other small areas that seem to be devoted to children also (like the southwest edge of Gesthesmene).
Currently, we were informed that there are 40,000 bodies interred at Chapel Hill. The most noteworthy people buried there are three victims from the Columbine school shootings. Two of them are buried behind the Columbine memorial (near the northwest corner entrance), students Corey DePooter and Rachel Scott. The only teacher killed, Dave Sanders, is also buried somewhere on the grounds.