In 1899 a public health hospital was established for patients from the Merchant Marines at Fort Stanton. Many of those who died there were buried in the cemetery and in 1913 it became known as the Merchant Marine Military Cemetery. In 1940 Fort Stanton became a POW camp and German POWs were held there. The cemetery contains the remains of four of the POWS who died while incarcerated and were buried in a separate corner of the property.
Later it was expanded to include people that had been connected to the Fort Stanton Hospital which closed in 1954. Eventually local veterans were also buried there as there was no nearby veterans cemetery. In November of 2010, the Board of Regents voted to limit burials to only those individuals who fall within the original jurisdiction: burials of deceased Merchant Marines, spouses of Merchant Marines, and people associated with Fort Stanton Hospital before its closure.
Almost all of the burials from the hospital and POW years are marked by plain white crosses with no names. A few have been augmented by or replaced by markers placed by the families. Modern veteran burials have standard military headstones.
Although located next to the Ft. Stanton State Veteran’s Cemetery, established in 2017, the two are separate cemeteries. However, burial locations for the Merchant Marine Military Cemetery may be looked up at the State Veterans Cemetery kiosk.
GPS Coordinates: 33.4901, -105.51545
- Added: 13 Apr 2006
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2173108
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