A gruesome detail about the park. If people know would it change where they had their picnics.
The Cheesman Park was once the Prospect Hill Cemetery, which opened in 1858 with the first grave dug the next year. Prospect Hill was sectioned off into religious beliefs and cultural groups. However, within 25 years the graveyard was rundown, with no one handling the upkeep. It was all but forgotten. The area around the cemetery had become an affluent neighborhood and the cemetery stuck out like a sore thumb.
Henry Moore Teller, a Colorado senator at the time, asked the US Congress to vote on removing the graves, placing them elsewhere, and turning the cemetery property into a park. Congress decided in favor of the modification on January 25, 1890. Originally, the relatives of those buried in the cemetery had three months to relocate their bodies.
However, the relocation of the graves did not go as planned. A number of years after making the three month deadline, the majority of the graves were still there. The city stepped in and asked E.P. McGovern to dig up and remove the remaining graves for a fee of $1.90 per grave.
McGovern was instructed to put each buried body into a new casket and transport them to the Riverside Cemetery. As McGovern began his work in March, 1893, the project became a media spectacle, with people gathering to watch. For some reason McGovern decided he wanted to make more money from the deal. He used child-sized coffins that are 3 ½ feet in length. He broke or cut up the bodies to make them fit into the smaller coffins. Claims were made that he often mixed and matched bones, not giving any care as to how he handled them. Claims were also made of grave robbing.
When the Denver Republican broke the story of what was happening in the relocation project, the mayor and the health commissioner canceled McGovern contract. No other plans have ever been made to complete the project. Open graves were eventually filled in and the plans for the park went on. Architect Reinhard Schuetze continued his work, but died before the park was finished.
In 2008, the Denver Botanic Gardens, originally built on the cemetery property, began constructing a parking area. During the construction human remains, as well as pieces of coffins, were found. The construction stopped. As bones were located, they were cataloged and moved to Mt Olivet Cemetery. It is estimated that there may be as many as 2,000-3,000 graves still buried under the park and surrounding areas.
While most park goers have no idea of the ghastly history, legends say the dead are not at rest, making Cheesman Park exceptionally haunted. Ghost adventurers go there in hopes of see a ghost or obtaining paranormal proof by taking pictures or recording unexplained sounds.