Road Trip Destination: Roosevelt Cemetery (Circa 1906-1915)

Roosevelt Cemetery

My grandparents used to keep a trailer up at Roosevelt Lake when I was a little girl. It was the perfect place to stay when we were visiting the lake, which was often. Some of my fondest memories are from our trips up to Roosevelt.  My sisters, cousins, and I used to love to run around the area and explore whatever we could find. One of our favorite places to hang out was the Roosevelt Cemetery Trail. That might sound creepy, but it is a pretty neat, not to mention historic, place.

Roosevelt Cemetery is the burial site of around 75 people, both local settlers and workmen who died building Roosevelt Dam. Most of the original grave markers are gone but some remain and many of the grave sites are marked by white crosses these days. If you look closely you might see the remnants of the original markers hidden behind those crosses.

Roosevelt Cemetery

There are two graves that I most remember from my childhood excursions. The first belongs to the stone cutter John Loser. The inscription on the grave says:

In memory of John Loser, a native of Germany. Killed April 25, 1908. One of the unforeseen costs of the Roosevelt Dam. Erected by fellow workmen.

Roosevelt Cemetery

The other grave I remember from my childhood cemetery visits belongs to Aiden Murphy who died in 1906 at the age of 13. He is buried next to Moses Murphy who died five years earlier and could be his father. I always thought this grave was so sad since Aiden was so young when he died.

Roosevelt Cemetery

The path to the cemetery is easy at 250 yards and depending on the time of year, it is quite pretty and can be very green.

Roosevelt Cemetery

I have a lot of memories at Roosevelt Lake and many of them revolve around the Roosevelt Cemetery and its trail. Check out this picture of me at the cemetery sometime around 1984.  Wow…look at the terrible sunburn!

Roosevelt Cemetery

Roosevelt Cemetery is located off of  HWY 188 directly across from the Roosevelt Lake Visitor Center.

Take State HWY 87 (Beeline Highway) north for about 60 miles to the junction of State HWY 188. Turn right and follow HWY 188 for 26 miles. Turn into the Lakeview Mobile Home Park and the cemetery parking lot will be on your right. Please note that the mobile home park is supposed to close this year since the US Forest Service is not renewing the 40 year old park’s lease and plans to turn it into a KOA campground. This should not affect the cemetery but might change it’s access point.

If you visit, stop by the Roosevelt Lake Visitor Center. They usually have a self-guided tour brochure for the cemetery.

Roosevelt Cemetery

About Janice

Janice is an Arizona native, a soldier's girl, daughter of the King, and mother to two. She shares family activity ideas, recipes, crafts, and product reviews at Celebrating Family. Read more about Janice here!


  1. Debra Wagner says

    As your Mom iremember every trip we took to the lake, ands if course the old cemetery. You children couldn’t get enough of it. .those were the days! The best lake in Arizona is Roosevelt

    • We definitely had so many fun times at the lakes as children!! I do remember our trips to the cemetery as well <3

  2. Tyler Scott says

    Moses Murphy is my 3rd great grandfather

  3. Do you know how either of the Murphy’s past? Or what Moses did in his life?

    • I do not. There are some informational plaques in a couple spots in the cemetery and I know there used to be a little museum nearby but I’m not sure if it’s still there.


  1. […] a weekend trailer there. Other than swimming, boating , and fishing at the lake we used to frequent Roosevelt Cemetery and when we felt like taking a moderate hike, we went to Tonto National […]