“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bonner in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Sand Park Cemetery

Who was Frank Hamilton?

Sand Park Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 8, 2010
1. Sand Park Cemetery Marker
Inscription. Who was Frank Hamilton? No one really knows. Simple grave markers pay a humble tribute to the five miners buried at the Sand Park Cemetery between 1898 and 1914. Little more is known than their names and year of death. Most of the other hard-rock-era miners who had family and means chose to be buried in "consecrated ground" in metropolitan areas like Missoula and Deer Lodge.

You're invited to walk across the road and spend a quiet moment at their graves. We can only surmise that these men died far from family in their quest for gold. They rest close to the source of their dreams of wealth, here in the heart of the Garnet Mountains.

They Hailed From Coloma
The nearby ghost town of Coloma (1895-1908) once hustled with fortune seekers, including some of the miners who rest in this cemetery. They probably bought grub at the company store and took a turn or two in one of Coloma's saloons.

(Left Inset)
"Frank Hamilton died last Tuesday and was buried in the Coloma Cemetery on Thursday, under the auspices of the Garnet Miners Union. Deceased was about 35 years of age, but nothing is known of his antecedents, further than that. He was born in Colorado, presumably at Canon City."
- Drummond Call, Friday, October 6, 1905

(Photo Caption)
Remnants like this
Sand Park Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 8, 2010
2. Sand Park Cemetery
old pair of boots remind us of the hard life these early miners had. Adequate shelter and clothing were luxurious, and accidents, illness and lack of doctors often meant a much shorter lifespan.
Erected by Bureau of Land Management.
Location. 46° 50.029′ N, 113° 23.017′ W. Marker is near Bonner, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker is on Garnet Range Road 7.4 miles south of Montana Highway 200, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bonner MT 59823, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Madison Limestone and the Garnet Mountains (approx. 8.6 miles away); Rattler Gulch Limestone Cliffs ACEC (approx. 10.3 miles away).
Also see . . .  Remote graveyards offer glimpse into western Montana's gold mining past. A newspaper article from The Missoulian (May 26, 2013) that discusses the Sand Park Cemetery and answers the question, "Who was Frank Hamilton?". (Submitted on January 28, 2014.) 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 28, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 582 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 28, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photograph with wide-view of marker. • Can you help?
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