Elgin Cemetery Sentimental Statues – Green River, Utah - Atlas Obscura

Elgin Cemetery Sentimental Statues

A cemetery full of touching tombstones from a community of railroad workers, uranium miners, and Cold War missile launchers. 


A must-see for taphophiles, this old cemetery in the ghost town of Elgin evokes the spirit of westward expansion and the real sentimentality of paying tribute to loved ones.

Unlike most modern American cemeteries, nearly every plot in the Elgin Cemetery is adorned with individual ornaments, including wagon wheels, toys, astroturf with lawn chairs, lawn gnomes, and Christmas decorations. 

Elgin Cemetery is located down a relatively remote path, as Elgin was once was a fruit-growing center and a stop on the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad. Elgin is now considered a ghost town, and has now been absorbed into Green River, thus allowing burials to continue in Elgin Cemetery.

The community of Green River itself grew significantly in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s due to uranium mining, a key ingredient in nuclear bombs. Then, when the U.S. Air Force established the Green River Launch Complex nearby, the community continued to contribute to Cold War efforts as the launch location of 141 Athena missiles.

Today, there are hundreds of plots dating back to the 1865 hinting at the local history, and many have been given their own unique accoutrements that celebrate each past life.

Know Before You Go

This cemetery is still active, please be respectful of the grave sites and the people who care for them.

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