Savoia Pioneer Cemetery
 Cibola County, New Mexico

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Bernalillo to Curry ~ De Baca to Guadalupe ~ Harding to McKinley
Mora to Roosevelt  ~ San Juan to Sierra ~ Socorro to Valencia

  History: In 1877, before the town of Ramah existed, a group of 100 Mormons fleeing persecution in Arkansas came to the area we know as Timberlake Ranch, and established a settlement they called Savoia. Savoia was one of the first white settlements in Western New Mexico.
     Unfortunately, along the way one family took refuge from the cold in an empty adobe house, which was clearly marked with the word, "smallpox." Either because they couldn't read or because the weather gave them no choice, this house is where their twin babies were born. It is also where they took on the germs they would carry to the small settlement of Savoia.
     During the bitter cold and heavy snows of the winter of 1877-78, smallpox ravaged Savoia, taking one person after another. Mothers and babies, fathers and children, died.
     Some of the bodies may have been buried in a hand-dug well close to Timberlake - Paul Merrill is trying to verify that story. We do know that at least thirteen smallpox victims are buried in a small cemetery just below the upper ranch house. It is a well-tended area enclosed by a black wrought-iron fence, eerie with the tragedy of the deaths of young parents and children buried there, all struck down within four months by a terrible disease.
     The settlement survived for a time - in 1880k, there were ten families living in Savoia. But eventually most of the people left to form Ramah and other communities, and the area, which is now Timberlake Ranch, became the Hamblin Ranch (the Hamblins were part of the original Savoia group).

     In addition to the graves of those who died in the smallpox tragedy of 1877-78, the cemetery contains the grave of Polly Ann Hamblin, who lived from 1900 to 1918. Some people say that Polly's ghost haunts the upper ranch house; but that is another story.

Driving Directions: Almost due N of this area, just a couple of miles, we have the Mormon Colony Cemetery.

Cemetery Savoia Pioneer
County Cibola
GPS Not available
MAP  

 

 

 

 

Last Name First/Middle Birth Death Age Notes
Brimhall Noah 1826 1918 92 Husband of Samantha Brimhall; Children: Lydia, Norman, Clayborn, James
Brimhall Samantha Lake 1835 May 26 1878 Mar 6 42 Daughter of James & Philomena Smith Lake; Wife of Noah
Evans Malinda Ann 1853 Apr 29 1878 Feb 10 24  
Hamblin Polly Ann 1900 1918 18  
Lake James 1788 1874 86  
Lake Philomena Smith 1793 1873 80  
McGrath Mary 1877 Dec 31 1878 Jan 31 0 Daughter of James & Nancy McGrath
McGrath Nancy Warrick 1856 Mar 9 1878 Jan 6 21 Born Carroll Co., GA; Wife of James McGrath
West Sarah Elizabeth Coffey 1836 1877 Dec 29 41 Born Murphy, NC

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