New Mexico October 14, 2017
You Will Want To Visit This Popular New Mexico Park That’s Actually A Cemetery
There are city parks — places of merriment and play. Then, there are cemeteries — sacred ground for resting souls. It’s not often that the two share common ground. Yet, in the resort town of Taos, New Mexico one city park, Kit Carson Park, artfully manages to situate the two together.
As a city park, Kit Carson Park stands on its own.
Easily accessible, just off the main road through Taos, Kit Carson Park has all one could want in a city park. For the active folks, the 19-acre park has soccer fields, Little League and t-ball fields, a children's play space, and courts for basketball and tennis. A walking and jogging path runs along the perimeter as well.
There are a lot of ways to relax here.
Tourists and locals alike stroll through the treed park, while others come for picnics, play, and outdoor grilling. The large grassy areas are perfect for yoga in the park too.
It's a space for community and events.
The annual Wool Festival is one event that draws the crowds. This noted regional fiber market features juried vendors offering a wide variety of animal fibers and related items, including fleeces and yarn, plus finished items from hats to rugs and wall art. Demonstrations, contests, live music, and food round out the event.
Kit Carson Park Rocks too.
One of the most anticipated music events of the year is the Solar Music Festival. Kit Carson Park makes a perfect venue for the two-day festival that is so much more than music. Crowds dance to local and national musicians but green living is the star, with booths on environmental and wildlife protection, green building, and alternative energy information.
The most unexpected thing about this park?
Part of the park is a cemetery.
The cemetery was established in 1847 as a burial ground for soldiers and locals killed during the Taos Revolt. Later, when Kit Carson was buried there, the park was re-named Kit Carson Cemetery. Along with Carson and those killed during the Revolt, the cemetery houses soldiers from many campaigns, including the Indian Campaigns of the 1850's, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. Local traders, merchants, and early Taos families are buried here, too.
Christopher "Kit" Houston Carson was all-around rugged.
Kit Carson, originally from Kentucky, became one of New Mexico's most famous residents. During his life, he was a mountain man and scout, trapper, Indian agent, and Army officer. His adventures were highly touted (in both fact and dime-novel fiction), but he is generally credited with helping to open the West to settlement. He is buried at his namesake park, next to his next to his third wife, Josefa Jaramillo. Other members of their families rest here as well.
Other prominent Taoseños rest here too.
Other notables buried at Kit Carson park include priest and educator, Padre Antonio José Martínez, and the "Muse of Taos," Mable Dodge Luhan. The controversial padre established boys and girls primary schools in Taos and owned one of New Mexico's first printing presses. Dodge Luhan, known for her avant-garde ideas and artist salons, helped put Taos art on the map.
Here's what you need to know about visiting this park:
When you are ready for a visit, Kit Carson Park and Historic Cemetery is located one and a half blocks north of the Taos Plaza at 211 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte.
Oh, and by the way, Kit Carson Park makes our list of
What do you think about Kit Carson park? Would you want to be buried in a park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.