Volcanoville in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Josephine Mine Cemetery
Dedicated as a "Pioneer Cemetery" August 10, 2013
Native Sons of the Golden West
Dwight A. Dutschke
In Memory of
James D. Phelan
United States Senator
Erected 2013 by Native Sons of the Golden West. (Marker Number 137-03.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
Location. 38° 58.788′ N, 120° 47.353′ W. Marker is in Volcanoville, California, in El Dorado County. Marker can be reached from Paymaster Mine Road 0.7 miles south of Volcanoville Road. Touch for map. From Hwy 193 in Georgetown, turn into town (northeast) on Main Street (Main Street turns into Wentworth Springs Road) and continue for 8.3 miles to Volcanoville Road. Turn
I highly recommend studying a map before attempting to locate this site. Marker is in this post office area: Georgetown CA 95634, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Foresthill Protestant Cemetery (approx. 2.9 miles away); Foresthill School Bell (approx. 3.1 miles away); St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Bell (approx. 3.1 miles away); Foresthill General Store (approx. 3.2 miles away); Forest Hill (approx. 3.2 miles away); Compressed Air Engine (approx. 3.2 miles away); Michigan Bluff (approx. 5.1 miles away); Michigan Bluff to Last Chance (approx. 5.1 miles away).
Also see . . . 2nd Regiment of Cavalry, Massachusetts Volunteers (The California 100 and the California Cavalry Bat. The history of the California 100 including John L. Hunter who now rests in the Josephine Mine Cemetery (Submitted on August 14, 2013, by James King of San Miguel, California.)
1. Josephine Mine Cemetery; The Dedication That Almost Wasn’t
“Hey, your cemetery is on fire!” That phone call from Past Grand President Jim Shadle almost made my knees buckle. We had been at the cemetery site in Volcanoville, 16 miles up-country from Georgetown barely two hours before installing the gate arbor and sign for the Josephine Mine Cemetery. Three of us had been on fire watch while Shane and Nick did the necessary welding and grinding. Had we missed something? We were about to turn ourselves in when I got a call, again from PGP Shadle, informing that the fire now raging out of control had originated some one mile further down the road in Frazierville. While it was a relief to know we had not been responsible for starting the conflagration, we could just imagine the ruined marble headstones and melted sign and fencing. The scheduled Grand Parlor dedication and ground breaking for the NSGW Cemetery and Memorial Park was just a week away.
The next morning saw nine of us going to the site to assess the damage. As we approached the cemetery, we were greeted with a still intact arbor, fence, and sign. All through the blackened skeletons of manzanita and madrone, yellow fire hoses hung like Christmas tinsel. Still burning stumps added even more smoke to the heavily laden air. It appeared the efforts of Cal-Fire and
What a dedication it was! The day, Saturday, August 10th, started at 8 a.m. with a fine breakfast prepared by Bill Arsenith and crew in the historic IOOF hall in Georgetown. Around 10 all guests and participants made their way up-country to Volcanoville, formerly known as Josephine, to the middle of nowhere it seemed, and the historic Josephine Mine Cemetery. It looked fabulous with patriotic bunting on the fence and all the headstones sparkling clean.
The event began at 11 a.m. with a short introduction and cemetery history before the presentation of colors by the Growlersburg VFW Post #9241 followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Grand Marshal Jim Brazil. Grand President Dwight Dutschke and team then commenced the always-beautiful dedication ceremony. After Grand President Dutschke’s introduction
How Georgetown Parlor came into possession of the cemetery was in 1974 when Vera Frazier transferred title of the site, and the surrounding one-acre, via quitclaim to the parlor with the expectation it would be restored and maintained in perpetuity. After the project lay fallow for some four decades while Georgetown Parlor went through the process of re-inventing itself several times over, Brother Dennis Aufdenkamp with a group of hardy souls decided about three years ago to find the path into the old cemetery. Choked by huge manzanita and toyon brush, the trail was barely walkable. It took several trips with chainsaws and a tractor before vehicle access was achieved. The group managed to clear a good path and remove the brush from inside the graveyard. Then Brother Jeff Schmidt decided to make this project his and did so with a passion. Working countless hours he, along with Brother Cliff Pierce, formed a committee, produced by-laws, perfected the title, obtained funds through the raffle of black powder guns and the sale of pins, ribbons and shirts, organized ground projects for clean-up and brush removal, obtained a grant from
One of the best portions of the day’s activities at the cemetery was the ceremony and rifle salute to the fallen veterans given by the VFW Post #9241. It was extremely moving and well performed; a fitting tribute to those who served our country and fought in the Civil War, the Spanish-American war and World War One and now lay in eternal repose in the newly restored cemetery in Josephine.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the NSGW Cemetery and Memorial Park adjacent the cemetery site saw the shovels wielded by the entire Cemetery Committee headed by Chairman Jeff Schmidt. Then Reverend Peter Y. Cool (also known as Brother Jerry Pozo, Auburn Parlor #59) did a tremendous blessing of the proposed cemetery and memorial park. While listening to his elegant blessing it was like being transported back in time. It was easy to imagine being in a beautiful, albeit scorched, setting in the mid 1800’s and hearing a sermon such as was delivered. It was simply wonderful.
After concluding all activities at the site, guests and participants gathered at Grand
To say this dedication and celebration of the restoration of the Josephine Mine Cemetery and the ground breaking for the NSGW Cemetery and Memorial Park was a monumental achievement for Georgetown Parlor #91 and The Native Sons of the Golden West as an organization is an understatement! We sincerely hope you enjoyed it!
By Former Grand Marshall Don Henderson, Georgetown Parlor #91
— Submitted March 10, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California.
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2013, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 1,100 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 13, 2013, by James King of San Miguel, California. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on August 14, 2013, by James King of San Miguel, California. 13, 14. submitted on March 10, 2014, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.