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Thorp Cemetery (Bolster Cemetery)
Bolster, Okanogan County, Washington

Lat: 48° 57' 18"N, Lon: 119° 01' 54"W
T40N R30E Sec 21

Contact:
Chesaw Charlie LLC, Chesaw WA
509-485-1910

Contributed by Maggie Rail, © Jul 25, 2001, last edited Oct 13, 2010 [mrail@asisna.com]. Total records = 14.

This cemetery lies on the property of John Thorp, in the town of Chesaw WA. Before John it was the property of his Great Grandfather, Joshua "Jack" Thorp, and has never been platted as a cemetery.

I am told by Ruby Wiltz, an historian in the town of Chesaw, that this cemetery was originally not part of anyone's land, the area was all open and unsettled. A new settlement developed quite near the cemetery, known as Bolster. This community used this as their cemetery and it was called the Bolster Cemetery. This community was about 5-6 miles north of Chesaw and developed from mining in the area. The people of Bolster continued to use it as a cemetery until Mr Thorp was able to get the rights to homestead in this area. The cemetery ended up being inside his property.

When this smallpox epidemic hit, there were not as many as I was first told who died from it, perhaps 5-7, but the residents were afraid to bury these in the Chesaw Cemetery, so Mr Thorp agreed to allow them to be buried in the old Bolster cemetery, which was by now on his property. Jack used quick lime spread both above and below each burial to try to help control the spreading of the disease, according to John.

The date of the epidemic seems to be 1903 from the death records. There were others buried here before and after the smallpox deaths. John Thorp had no records and so far I have not been able to find any specifically for this cemetery. The condition of this cemetery is deplorable. There is no fence and cattle and other animals have toppled over the stones and markers as well as vegetation growing over it. I think it should have a fence around the cemetery to protect the burial sites. Mr Thorp told me that was the responsibility of those buried there.

To reach the cemetery one needs to get permission from the landowner, since it is a long drive across his private land to reach the cemetery. The home is the first road to the left after you leave Chesaw, heading north.

Note: John Thorp passed away on Aug 13, 2002, according to his sister Gayle Thorp Hueth, Gayle became the new owner of the ranch and land which this cemetery is situated on. In 2010 (5) five gentlemen purchased the ranch from Gayle Hueth. The ranch is now named Chesaw Charlie LLC. Permission still needs to be granted to access the cemetery.

I walked Thorp cemetery Jul 20, 2001. I compared these findings with an earlier work done in 1979, which I found in the Okanogan County Cemetery Records book. An asterisk follows those added from that work.

- Maggie Rail

Bibbee, Jeremiah B, b. Mar 24, 1832, d. Jul 10, 1904
Butler, Benjamin Franklin, b. Dec 31, 1876 Greenwood BC, d. May 1976 Republic WA
Butler, Morgan, no date, infant, per Ben Butler
Butler, Mrs Tom, d. Apr 1903 of smallpox
Butler, Norris, d. 1917, railroad accident, per Ben Butler
Butler, Thomas, no date, infant, per Ben Butler
Hawthorne, Mrs., b. 1838, d. 1900, m/o Frank Mitchell
Martz, Elnora V, b. 1865 d. Apr 24, 1903, Mother, s/w William
Martz, William A, b. 1862, d. Apr 25, 1903, Father, s/w Elnora
Petty, Mr, no dates, (f/o Ed & Charlie, gfather of George Rupp*)
Petty, Mrs, no dates, (m/o Ed & Charlie, gmother of George Rupp*)
Rawlings, Eliza Caroline, d. Dec 19, 1913, age 55y
Regan, Girl, d. c. 1907, (age 10-12y*)
Regan, John Walter, b. Apr 10, 1888, d. Oct 10, 1904, (shot by Benny Hart*)
Rupp, Baby Boy, d. Jan 1913, s/o JL Rupp, (ate poisoned raisins*)
Rupp, George, b. 1837 Ohio, d. Jan 14, 1920, bur. Jan 16, 1920, h/o Francis Bell, no stone, per nephew Jimmy Rupp
Rupp, George, d. 1918, flu, (abt 19y*) s/o J.L.
Smalley, Stanley B, d. Dec 24, 1921, age: 40yr, h/o Pearl, s/o Matthias & Hattie, per Ben Butler
Smalley, Thomas Mathias, 1902, d. 1970, per Ben Butler
Smalley, Thomas, no dates, per Ben Butler
Thummel, Louis, no dates

 

 

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