Have You Missed This Hidden Sierra Vista Landmark?
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU DRIVEN BY THIS HIDDEN SIERRA VISTA LANDMARK?
How many times have you driven past the hidden history in the middle of Sierra Vista? I turned from Fry Boulevard onto North Seventh Street the other day and saw something I don’t ever remember seeing. To be fair, right across the street is one of those announcement flags waving the word ‘YOGA’ as loudly as a flag can wave, so that’s where my attention always goes.
PIONEER CEMETERY CATCHES MY ATTENTION
For some reason on this day, the wrought iron gate and gabion wall caught my attention to the left. “What is that?”, I almost said out loud, even though I was the only person in the car. And then I saw the wrought iron sign which reads Pioneer Cemetery, and to be honest, I felt a little sheepish. How could I have missed it, right there on the corner of Fry and 7th, not once or twice, but I didn’t notice it for years?
A FACELIFT FOR FRY PIONEER CEMETERY
Memories began to bubble up slowly as I remembered reading about the cemetery restoration a few years ago–about the time COVID began erasing our memories and skewing time. A quick search of the Sierra Vista Herald’s archives brought up an article entitled, Reviving history: Fry Pioneer Cemetery receives facelift ahead of centennial celebration published November 2, 2019. According to the article, the City of Sierra Vista acquired what is known as the Fry Pioneer cemetery in 2018. Locals, volunteers, and historical restoration groups worked to clean it up, and it’s even listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
OLIVER FRY’S FAMILY PLOT
According to Wikipedia, Oliver Fry and his two eldest sons traveled from Texas by railroad, settling just east of Fort Huachuca in January 1913. Oliver Fry’s wife Elizabeth Cathcart Fry was the first person interred in the Fry’s family plot. Subsequent family members and others who settled in the community are buried there, with a small memorial courtesy of the Butterfly Gardens is dedicated to the infants who are buried there.
WHEN TO VISIT PIONEER CEMETERY
If your eyes are sharper than mine, maybe you’ve visited our little hidden landmark. But if you’d like to take a self-guided tour, Pioneer Cemetery is open Monday through Friday fro 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.