Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2021, the Board of the nonprofit Historic Fairview Cemetery organization invites visitors to take a tour and learn about some of its famous (and infamous) residents. Four one-hour tours will be conducted at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and noon. A donation of $20 per person is requested. The Historic Fairview Cemetery is accessed through the main entrance to Fairview Memorial Park, 700 Yale Blvd. SE.

Local Model T and Model A automobile clubs will display vehicles from the 1900s to 1930s during the event, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is no cost to visit and view the vehicles.

While there are approximately 12,000 burial sites in the historic cemetery, fewer than 6,000 have markers. Among the well-known New Mexico family names on the tour are Dietz, Galles, Huning, Menaul, Rodey and Ross. There are Rough Riders, Buffalo Soldiers, people from at least 23 countries and three Native American tribes interred in Historic Fairview Cemetery.

In addition to Model T and Model A Fords from 1908 to 1930 on display in the cemetery, there will be special speakers on hand to discuss these notable burials at the cemetery:

  • Governor Edmund G. Ross (featured in John F. Kennedy’s book, Profiles in Courage): Great-great-grandson Steve Ross will show the governor’s top hat and share family stories.
  • Rough Riders who fought in the Spanish American War with Teddy Roosevelt: Melanie LaBorwit, educator with the NM History Museum and past curator of the Rough Riders Museum in Las Vegas, NM, will provide more details – 17 Rough Riders are buried at Historic Fairview Cemetery.
  • Kiku Honda, a young Japanese woman murdered by a jealous lover in 1896: Davis Begay with the New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League will provide more details about this incredible story.
  • The Thelin family, who ran a barbershop in New Town ABQ: Carole Thelin Bonda will show photos and talk about family history at her family’s plot.
  • Buffalo Soldiers, African Americans in the U.S. Colored Infantry: Kyran Worrell has been researching Buffalo Soldiers and will be near James Price’s burial plot to talk about their contributions.

Attendees are asked to wear a face mask, hat, hiking boots or sturdy shoes (to protect feet from goat heads). A bottle of water will be provided. Tours start at the interior entrance to the historic cemetery, located north of the Fairview Memorial Park office. Look for a registration table near the entrance to Congregation Albert’s section of the cemetery.

Historic Fairview Cemetery was founded in 1881. It is run by an Albuquerque nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining the cemetery and sharing the stories of its residents. Members of the Board will be available to discuss how people can get involved.

Cost: A donation of $20 for each adult and child over 12 is requested to support cemetery maintenance and provide educational materials. Tours groups are limited to 15 people. GUIDED TOURS ARE SOLD OUT. VISITORS MAY TAKE SELF-GUIDED TOURS AND VISIT THE CARS AND SPECIAL SPEAKERS FOR FREE – DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED.

When: Monday, May 31, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tours are at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and noon.

Where: Historic Fairview Cemetery, 700 Yale Blvd. SE – Enter through the gates of Fairview Memorial Park, near the intersection with Avenida Cesar Chavez. Proceed east to the cemetery office, turn left and continue north into the historic cemetery area.