|Hawkeye Park Road|
Postal Code: 52246
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Nearest town: CORALVILLE, Located in West Lucas Township at the western edge of Iowa City. Its post office was first established 18 June 1869, later discontinued, then reestablished and is still in existence. "A new town was born last week, up at the woolen mills and was christened Coralville." State Press, 19 Dec 1866. The name was suggested from the rock of coral formation found when digging for the foundations for the water power development. Therefore, the paper mill was christened "The Coral" and then the town took the same name.
Local Directions: WEST LUCAS TWP SEC 7 MORMON TREK BLVD TO HAWKEYE PARK TO HAWKEYE CT TO HANDCART PARK; FOLLOW PATH TO CEMETERY.
Site Plaque Inscription:
PIONEER BURIAL GROUND
The handcart trek was not accomplished without hardship and sacrifice. At least six immigrants who died while camped in this area were buried near this spot. The journey west took a far greater toll. Departing perilously late in the season, the last two handcart companies of 1856 were caught in severe early winter storms in Wyoming. About two hundred immigrants perished before a massive rescue effort could bring them to safety in the Salt Lake Valley.
Prairies covered the vast stretches between the rivers and were maintained by grass fires which swept across the plains and into the woods. The fires burned off the young trees, thus restricting the forest to the river bottoms and adjacent hills. Grasses and members of the sunflower family dominated the prairies. Although there were some spring prairie wildflowers, the prairie was its most spectacular in the summer when the yellows of the sunflowers and purple of the blazing stars contrasted the lush green of the grasses such as big blue stem, little blue stem, and Indian grasses.
Today as you look around you, remnants of the forest and prairie remain much as they did at the time of the Mormon encampments.
Submitted by Shirleen Farley, findagrave member #46997739
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) feature ID for the cemetery is 2002565 (Mormon Burying Ground).