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Boot Hill Cemetery

By | Last Modified: February 20, 2020

Boot Hill Cemetery, also referred to as “Fourth Street Cemetery” and “Graveyard on the Hill,” was Bismarck’s first burial ground. Established only months after the city’s establishment, the cemetery was located on the site of the current Governor’s mansion – at Fourth Street and Boulevard Avenue.

The cemetery was used until at least 1877 when the Catholic Church of Bismarck purchased 46 acres of land to establish Saint Mary’s. Fairview Cemetery was established three years later by a group of Bismarck Protestants.

During street grading for construction of the Capitol in the early 1880s, at least fifty bodies were exhumed at Boot Hill and moved to Saint Mary’s and Fairview. When excavating for construction of the city’s trolley line, thirteen more bodies were discovered still buried at Boot Hill.

The current Governor’s mansion was constructed on the Boot Hill site in 1960.

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