Yellowstone’s Kite Hill Cemetery


In an earlier post I told you about the grave of Mattie Culver.  There are other cemeteries in Yellowstone but, unfortunately, at least one of them has gone into serious disrepair.  That would be Kite Hill Cemetery which is located behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

Moon setting over Sepulcher Mountain courtesy of NPS / Jacob W. Frank.

The cemetery was originally known as Sepulcher Hill Cemetery because it lies on the eastern flank of Sepulcher Mountain.

The name Kite Hill is associated with the cemetery because it is located on top of a hill and because the residents of Mammoth have often climbed it with their children to fly their kites.

The cemetery was first used in 1883 and it is a civilian cemetery.  It was used for early park workers and non-military residents of the park.

It contains only 14 grave sites but there is just one lone monument still standing.  This lone monument actually marks two graves and  bears the name of Mary J. Foster.   It was reported that she came from Madison County, North Carolina and came to Yellowstone to work in the hotel which was, at that time, under construction.   Her age is listed as 33 years and the monument indicates that she was buried there on June 10, 1883.

The other name on the lone marker is Sarry E. Bolding.  Nothing is known of her or where she originally came from.  It is generally assumed that she too had come to work at the hotel.  It indicates that she died of unknown causes.  She was buried four years after Mary J. Foster but they share a common headstone.

The cemetery contains the bodies of two people who committed suicide, one who was murdered, and yet another who died in an avalanche.

The identities of at least three of those buried in Kite Hill remains a mystery as does the cause of their demise.