There must be something special about Oklahoma that makes circus folk feel welcome.
The Greatest Show on Earth promoter, James Ringling, owned the land where the town
of Ringling now sits. Hugo is the winter home to the Carson & Barnes Circus, as well as a
few smaller ones... and Hugo is also home to Showman's Rest section - where circus folk
go to get buried.
This interesting section of Mt. Olivet cemetery is exciting and introspective at the same
time. Many of the performer's tombstones are either in the shape of something related to
a circus - a circus tent, for example - or are etched with depictions of what act the
deceased performed. There are many elephant etchings, at least one high wire and one
strong man, and a few horse trainers. From the wonderful inscriptions, you can tell how
beloved these people must have been by those they left behind.
Near the Showman's Rest section, you can also visit the graves of two famous bull
riders, Freckles Brown and Lane Frost. The cemetery is open daily from sunrise to
Mt. Olivet Cemetery is just off US 70, about a mile east of the US 70- US 271 intersection,
south of Hugo.
|Grave of famous bull rider Lane Frost
|In memory of my high school English teacher, who is buried here.
Rest in peace, Coach Stevens.
Showman's Cemetery: Where the Circus Goes To Die