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Photo by Sarah Orawczyk
Liz Mauk shows newspaper clippings Tuesday afternoon of Patricia Solis, herself, and family and friends from working in Calico. Solis will be buried at Calico Ghost Town's cemetery on Wednesday.

An unusual funeral

Calico characters find final resting place in town's graveyard

CALICO GHOST TOWN • “It isn’t every day that someone is buried in Calico Ghost Town,” said Liz Mauk. “It’s really different.”

Patricia Solis, better known as “Calico Kate” at Calico Ghost Town passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 68. Solis, like several other long-timers at Calico, opted for a more untraditional burial. She will be buried Wednesday at Calico Cemetery.

Mauk, a friend of Solis’ and also a long time affiliate of the ghost town, recalled memories with Solis. She kept newspaper clippings of the two women joined by family and friends dressed in old Western apparel.

“We had a lot of fun together. All of us,” said Mauk.

Superintendent Wayne Watkins, Park Ranger Wayne Hartel, and John Paul Hartel all worked on digging Solis’ final resting place Tuesday afternoon.

Wayne Hartel said that there are headstones in the cemetery that date back to 1882.

“It’s the real deal,” said Hartel.

He also estimated that five people have been buried in the cemetery within the last decade.
Watkins added that some of the graves are unmarked so they may end up digging up a body while working on new plots.

“That’s just how they did it back then,” Wayne Hartel chimed in.

Typically, people in Calico’s Hall of Fame are buried in the cemetery, such as Calico characters like “Calico Kate,” Mauk’s mother, Dora Brown, known as “Calico Dora,” and her step-dad, Carl Brown, known as “Brownie.” Mauk has also been given permission by the county to be buried at the cemetery.

Maureen Snelgrove, the branch manager of the County of San Bernardino explained that if a person wanted to be buried at Calico’s cemetery that they must submit a letter to the director of regional parks.

“You must have some sort of long term relationship with Calico to be buried in the cemetery.” Snelgrove added.

John Ransom, who was working at Lil’s Saloon, a restaurant in Calico, Monday morning said that he has been given permission to be buried at the Calico Cemetery as well.

“The only thing is, is that they’re running out of space, so I have to die quick!” Ransom joked.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126

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