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Sunshine Colorado Cemetery  - Ghost town

One Mans Search for his ancestors..

Perhaps some of you would like to read this series of emails from one of the viewers of the site. He was interested in Sunshine Colorado. Funny how things developed. Good thing Scott has some patience. Great old photos provided by Scott. Scott's contributions lead to the development of this page. Eventually Scott came to Colorado and got a private tour of the old townsite and the cemetery. We even located the grave sites he was interested in finding.  The graveyard is slowly being fixed. A couple of real dedicated individuals, David and Janice, that live in Sunshine are helping the process along and are keeping records. THANKS to people like them that are helping to preserve our history for us.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I was told my Great grandfather, Uriah Steelsmith, ended up at Sunshine in the late 1890s early 1900s. Have you heard the name or seen his tombstone anywhere? -  Scott Setzepfandt

March 10th 2008


I have been to the Sunshine cemetery on several occasions. I do not recall seeing any tombstones with the name Steelsmith. I do recall an article I saw in a book about Sunshine with the name Steelsmith attached. The name of the book is "Stories of Sunshine" Life in a mining camp by June Peterson Howard.

The enter states " By 1908 Sunshines population was down to about two hundred. As mining activities dwindled, Boulder Daily Camera  (Newspaper) articles related more society items. It was reported that the Sunshine Sewing Club met, had lunch, and spent a jolly time chatting at Mrs.  Steelsmith's."

Hope this helps and THANKS again for visiting my site. - Mike

Sunday march 16th 2008

 It's a start. Thanks.

According to my 88 year old aunt, her grandfather and grandmother divorced in the 1800s and he ran off to Colorado to the Sunshine Gold Mine and remarried.  I would like to find out what ever happened to them.  His name was Uriah Steelsmith and his second wife was Rose. That's about all I know.

If you come across anything else I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks again, - Scott

May 15th 2008

I was at the CHS (Colorado Historical Society ) doing some research yesterday. I took your information with me and went through cemetery burial records. This may be of interest to you. These were the 2 Steelsmith Names I discovered in Colorado at the time period you mentioned. Both are buried in the Sunshine Cemetery.  

Steelsmith Hanna Rosetta - no birth date just date of death 1931. This could easily be your "Rose".

Steelsmith John - Birth 1854 Death 1919. Not sure if this is Uriah but it was not unusual for people in those days to use common names versus given names. Perhaps his middle name, nickname or assumed name was John when he "ran off to Colorado".

In any case perhaps this helps for you. Mike

May 19th 2008

Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for the info!  This may very well be the two I am looking for.

Uriah's first name in early census reports was James.  I believe Uriah may have been his middle name.  He was born in PA in 1854.  His mother died and his father, brother and two sisters moved to NE Iowa where his father Jacob remarried a woman by the Name of O'Brien who had 6 children, one who also was a James.  I think Uriah switched from James to Uriah because of the stepbrother between 1870 and 1880.

I lost track of him after 1885 and the only info I have is that he divorced and moved to Colorado (or moved to Colorado and then divorced) where he worked a mine in Sunshine.

There is a very good chance that he just changed it to John or that someone miswrote John instead of James.

You didn't by any chance happen to see if they also had the date of death or interment noted on those records?  I am hoping to find an obituary that may have more details.

I am attaching some photos that I believe were taken around 1900 I believe by Uriah's daughter Leah, my great-grandmother's sister. I believe Papa is Uriah and Moma may actually be his first wife, Luella, because she looks a lot like Leah.  Could be that Luella left him in CO for what ever reason and that he married Rose later.  You may recognize some of the other names from the back of the photo. Let me know if you would like more photos. - Scott

July 8th 2008


Just back from Alaska, Will try to add your stuff over the next couple weeks. Got lots of trips planned as I have company almost every week in July. August I will be heading for AZ. Before I left for Alaska my wife and I went to the Cemetery and checked every headstone / marker I could find. No luck. I do have some pictures of the site if you want them let me know. It is a beautiful location for a cemetery. Attached are some of the photos.  

Sure any photos you want to share I will take. Just give me time to get them posted.

THANKS again. - Mike

October 5th 2008

Hi Mike,

Sorry I have been so slow to reply.  The attached are the remainder of the old photos I have of Sunshine.  I found an obituary of one of Uriah's daughters and it indicated her fathers name was John Steelsmith so I believe the John and Rose that are Buried in Sunshine are my Great Great Grandfather and his wife. They had a son, Albert (28), who was still living with his wife Anna (27) and mother Rosa (48) in "Sunshine Precinct 15" in 1920. I am not sure whether Albert and Anna stayed on or moved elsewhere after 1920. - Scott


Steelsmith gravesite in Sunshine and  Papa Uriah and Mama Steelsmith