Hi Jolly Cemetery

QUARTZSITE, AZ

I was driving across Arizona, camping with two friends, and we had an afternoon with nothing really planned except to get from here to there. There were two ways we could go, and Jim said, let’s go through Quartzsite. I’ve been there in winter when they have a huge gem and mineral show, but I’d be interested to see what’s there when that’s not going on.

We had a fun afternoon there, involving shopping, ice cream and the bookstore run by the Naked Guy (who was actually very nice) but I had looked in my guidebook and found out that Hi Jolly was buried here; when we found the cemetery, it was actually named after him.

The US Army imported camels in the 1850s and formed the Camel Corps, and a Syrian named Hadji Ali was included as trainer and camel driver…of course his name was Americanized to Hi Jolly, and he is a legend of the southwest. The Camel Corps didn’t do so well, but he lived to 1902.

This was a pretty awesome cemetery, with some extremely quirky monuments. Very much worth a visit.

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