During the past year a group of folks have been working together to discover the lost history of the Coulson City (Boothill) Cemetery located in Swords Rimrock Park. That effort culminated in the past couple of weeks when Professor Tom Rust and his class from Montana State University Billings spent several days surveying the cemetery with the latest in technology. We are so fortunate they took on this project. This cemetery, overgrown with weeds and rotting fenceposts has been allowed to fall into disrepair and the graves have been lost in the process.
Rust and his class are wrapping up their project and dotting the Is and crossing the Ts in their final report. However, I can tell you that they have confirmed the site of a mass grave with no less than nine people buried at that site; and identified dozens of previously unmarked graves.
Now begins the job of permanently marking the gravesites of these early frontiersman and women who lived and died on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Coulson City, Montana. I call on the City of Billings Parks Department to step into a leadership role to ensure this cemetery never again falls into the disrepair that it has these past years. We live in a city rich in history. Honoring that history is so very important.