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Exploring Fairmount

A cache by KA&JWest Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 9/29/2012
2.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Ms. Anne was planning a scavenger hunt here for her Rotary club, so I decided to do a multi/puzzle cache.

You can park at the posted coordinates and walk the entire cache (probably about a mile total), bicycle, or drive around. The cemetary is open from dawn until sunset.

The first waypoint is provided. After that, each waypoint is computed from some information at the previous waypoint(s).

5/26/2014 Final has moved and is now a micro!

10/31/2015 No change to cache location. It is outside the construction area. As long as the main entrance is closed this will be a bit of a walk. If you choose to park in the neighborhood, be VERY careful crossing Quebec and be aware of No Parking signs.

The coordinates for the first waypoint are provided. After that, the coordinates for each waypoint may be found using information acquired at previous waypoints. At each point you will be calculating the decimal portion of the minutes value. Remember to zero fill to three digits (93 becomes .093, etc.) if necessary.

Waypoint 1:This waypoint brings you to the Iliff family burial area, featuring the large central monument. This monument was originally in Riverside cemetary, along with his remains. In 1920 his daughter, Louise, had his remains and the 65-ton monument moved to Fairmount Cemetery.

John Wesley Iliff moved to Denver in 1859 and began a mercantile store. About 1861 he sold the store and bought cattle weakened after the long trek across plains. He nursed and, fattened the cattle, then sold them for substantial profit to mining camps, Denver butchers, and Army posts. He acquired about 25,000 head of cattle and 7,908 acres of land and imported shorthorn bulls from Ohio to improve his stock.

Estate probate records show that at his death he owned 15,500 acres in 54 sections always near water throughout Colorado.

After his death, his wife, Elizabeth, sold his ranch holdings and invested the proceeds and donated $100,000 to endow the Iliff School of Theology.

However, you are not interested in John Iliff's gravesite. Find the grave marked "Baby Brother". Make the following notes:

  • Value A=Month and Day of birth (mmdd).
  • Value B=Year of death.

Your next stop is the gravesite of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from World War I. He may be found at N 39 W 104 53.bbb where aaa = A - 698 and bbb = B - 1089.

Waypoint 2:This waypoint brings you to the grave of Harold Irving Johnston, Medal of Honor recipient in World War I, and Major in the Army Air Corps in WWII.

His Medal of Honor citation reads "When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Sgt. Johnston, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location of the enemy. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return. This was accomplished after a severe struggle which so exhausted him that he had to be assisted from the water, after which he rendered his report of the exploit."

Nearby may be found a large memorial and a flat burial stone for a more familiar name, also from World War I. This member of the 91st Aero Squadron was killed in action while flying through hostile territory in France.

Make the following notes:

  • Value C = Irving's Infantry number.
  • Value D = Irving's Division number.
  • Value E = 91st Aero Squadron member's age at death.

Your next stop is the possible gravesite of the first black woman to graduate from the University of Colorado, Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Jones. According to a Denver Post article from 2007, she was buried in an unmarked grave. The waypoint brings you to a small marker on a larger stone.

She may be found at N 39 42.ccc W 104 53.ddd where ccc = E + 602 and ddd = D + 723

Waypoint 3:This waypoint brings you to the marker for the first black woman to graduate from the University of Colorado, Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Jones.

She was the daughter of emancipated slaves from adjoining plantations in northern Virginia. When the Buchanan's arrived in Colorado in 1882, Lucile's mother, Sarah, bought five lots of land in an unincorporated area outside the Denver city limits from P.T. Barnum. The Buchanan's were one of two black families in this predominately first-generation European immigrant community.

In 1903 she enrolled in the two-year teacher certification program at the Colorado State College for Education at Greeley (now University of Northern Colorado), which she completed in 1905. In 1915, she enrolled in the University of Chicago where she studied Greek, German, and English. After studying there for only one year, she returned to Colorado to enroll in the University of Colorado. On June 5, 1918, Miss Buchanan became the first black woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. She majored in German.

Lucile died blind and almost forgotten in a Denver nursing home.

Make the following notes:

  • Value F = Year Lucile died.
  • Value G = Number of letters in the inscription below the box containing Lucile's name and birth/death dates.

Your next stop is the gravesite of one of the most colorful criminals in Denver history. Lou Blonger was the kingpin of confidence swindles in Denver for over 25 years.

He may be found at N 39 42.eee W 104 54.fff where eee = F - 1452 and fff = G * 3 - 62.

Waypoint 4: Lou Blonger moved permanently to Denver in about 1888, joining his brother Sam. The pair operated several saloons and gambling houses in the area of Larimer Street and Seventeenth Street over the next few years, including the magnificent Elite Saloon at 1628 Stout Street, with its mahogany fixtures and frescoed ceiling. The Blongers aggressively targeted tourists, who were lured to the saloon by a network of henchmen called "steerers" and then cheated out of their money. The sophistication of the swindles developed over time. In the early years they were as simple as marked cards or loaded dice; later, elaborate "big cons" became the Blonger trademark. The Blongers also had interest in several gold mines, including the Forest Queen in Cripple Creek.

As his gang branched out into bigger and more complicated "big cons" that attracted a more well-to-do clientele, Lou Blonger found he no longer needed his saloon and the relatively small take it provided from card and dice games. Eventually he moved into headquarters in the American National Bank building on Seventeenth Street and styled himself as a mining magnate.

For the next 18 years Blonger and his gang operated virtually unmolested by local law enforcement. Gang members were specifically instructed not to solicit victims from Colorado, but preyed on out-of-state tourists who would find it difficult to help prosecute a criminal case. Lou Blonger expanded the gang's home base from Denver, where it operated only during the warmest months, southward to Miami and Havana, Cuba. During the winter Blonger relaxed at Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Among Blonger's friends in high places were Mayor Robert W. Speer, William Pinkerton, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Harry Tammen of the Denver Post.

These friends were unable to help him when District Attorney Philip S. Van Cise refused his money, and then used his own investigative team to circumvent the corrupt police force. The posse assembled early on the morning of August 24, 1923: eighteen Colorado Rangers to arrest the gang members and several private citizens to chauffeur them to a holding cell. Eventually Blonger and 33 other gang members were hauled in before news of the raid reached the street, allowing the remainder of the gang to flee.

During the trial rumors were rampant that the jury had been fixed. Blonger's men approached at least four of the jurors. Three took the money and held out for acquittal, but the fourth reported the bribery to the judge. Once the bribery was exposed, Blonger and the others were convicted. Blonger was taken to the Colorado State Penitentiary on October 18, 1923, and died there on April 20, 1924.

Make the following notes:

  • Value H = Year Lou Blonger was born.

The final cache container may be found at N 39 42.ggg W 104 54.hhh
ggg = (A x 3) - (C x 10) + (E x 10) - (G * 10) + 614.
hhh = (B x 2) - (D * 10) + F - (H x 2) - 954.
These are new coordinates as of 5/26/2014!

Geocaching Colorado

Initial contents: An unactivated micro coin for FTF and some small swag.

Please be respectful of your surroundings at all times in the cemetary.

*** Congratulations to Edwards654 for being FTF! ***

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Svany vf n pnzb unatvat ovfba ghor. Znl or uvqqra ol n YBG bs vil. Gur gbc vf nggnpurq.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



92 Logged Visits

Found it 71     Didn't find it 11     Write note 4     Temporarily Disable Listing 1     Enable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Owner Maintenance 3     

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Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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