Mt. Olivet Cemetery 150th Anniversary Celebration

In an unusual ministry, the Diocese of Salt Lake is one of fivelongtime Utah faith traditions to operate the Mt. Olivet Cemetery as a board of directors. The cemetery marked its 150th anniversary with a historic and solemn ceremony on May 11th. It is the only federally chartered public cemetery in the country that was created by Cong

ress. Originally, the Salt Lake City burial ground was created to serve those who were seeking to bury loved ones who were not members of the predominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Episcopal Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle fought to get a respectable final resting place for people of all faiths.

The Rt. Rev. Phyllis Spiegel offered a prayer of benediction to the gathered. She read out of a historic 1700s era Book of Common Prayer burial service. Diocesan historiographer Kurt Cook offered a historical perspective to the stories of those buried there. A representative of the Utah Governor’s office told the accounts of two governors who are now buried in the vast cemetery.

The cemetery, located across the street from the U of U football stadium is now a beautiful respite in the Salt Lake City urban area. There are 36000 people buried in the cemetery and it continues to serve more people as it is an active burial ground today. The cemetery is also a popular place for those wishing to take walks among the trees observing the herd of deer that are at home at Mt. Olivet and the hundreds of birds.

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