Eli, Nebraska: Petrified Wood TombstonesAlso here are tombstones made of glass chips embedded in concrete. The locals used what was available.
Conley Flats Cemetery
- Unnamed Rd, Eli, NE
- Conley Flats Cemetery. From Merriman drive east on US Hwy 20 for ten miles. Turn right onto an unmarked gravel road and drive south for 3.5 miles. Turn left onto an unmarked gravel road and drive east for three miles. Turn left onto an unmarked gravel road and drive north for a half-mile. The cemetery will be on the left. The last half-mile is a deep track in weeds, only recommended for vehicles with high ground clearance.
Visitor Tips and News About Petrified Wood Tombstones
As of the summer of 2007 the general store in Eli had closed. Perhaps you can get directions at the Sand Bar in Merriman or at the gas station in Cody.[Hank, 03/11/2009]
Here's an update and photo of the Eli Nebraska petrified wood grave markers. If you're going to drive to see them, make sure your vehicle has high ground clearance. The last 1/2 mile is a deep track in weeds. I fear that some vandals have removed some of the wood. As interesting as the wood is the "glass chip and concrete markers."
By the way, the "field of windmills" in Eli, NE no longer exists.[Bob Arens, 10/29/2000]
Eli is west of Valentine, a mile north of Highway 20 in the northern Nebraska Sandhills. Eli has about a dozen houses, a church, and a general store, plus a windmill graveyard on the edge of the hamlet. Inquire at the store for directions to the Conley Flats Cemetery, south and east of Eli some 8 miles. The cemetery, located on a picturesque table overlooking the Niobrara River valley, has quite a few grave markers formed of petrified wood, particularly the Bigelow family plot. Be forewarned that the directions will most likely be in terms of "autogates"--the pipe rumbles that cattle ranchers put across driveways to keep cattle in: so many autogates south and so many autogates east.[Steve Hahn, 04/06/1998]