More than 120 years ago (1892), the U.S. Government conducted land surveys in the area we know as Copeland. At this time, this area was part of Kootenai County. In 1903, Caleb and Harriet Ames were living on 80 acres, however the date they set up “homesteading” is unknown. A son, Frank Ames who drowned on Aug. 27, 1903, was buried on the southwest corner of the property. Surprisingly enough, there were three other existing graves on that one acre by this time. Thus, the Copeland Cemetery’s history had begun.
In 1905, Caleb and Harriet Ames purchased the 80 acres for the sum of $100. In September of that same year, the Ames sold the property minus one acre to Mary C. Barnes of Porthill for $500. The one acre piece was to be set aside for cemetery purposes.
Two years later, Mrs. Barnes sold the same piece to J. Wesley Tripp for the sum of $1,000: 79 acres plus the one acre serving as cemetery land. J. Wesley Tripp then sold the very same plot of land to Theron L. and Addie B. Edwards of Copeland for the sum of $800. The one acre at the southwest corner continued to be reserved for cemetery purposes. It was not until 1939 the cemetery was platted to become the Copeland Cemetery.
To hear the rest of this intriguing story and all the people who have bought and sold this acre on the side of the hill, you will surely want to attend the Cemetery Tour presented by the Boundary County Museum Staff on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Copeland Cemetery. Parking is available adjacent to the Cemetery, courtesy of the JWJ Memorial Park.
Contact or stop by the Boundary County Museum to reserve your place for this entertaining and informative walk. The $5 attendance fee will be shared with the Copeland Cemetery Association in appreciation of their partnership with The Museum.