“A tribute to all showmen under God’s big top,” Showmen’s Rest is a cemetery plot dedicated to circus performers. In 1960, D.R. Miller purchased a section of the Mount Olivet Cemetery to memorialize his sister, Kelly Miller, and other circus performers.
Hugo earned the nickname “Circus Town, USA” as it was a popular winter headquarters for traveling circuses starting back in the 1930s. You can find Showmen’s Rest in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Oklahoma. The section is outlined with elephant monuments.
I shot this footage back in November on our way home from my wife and I’s anniversary trip in Broken Bow. We passed through Hugo to check the cemetery as it’s been on my list to visit for a long time. I wasn’t sure what to do with the videos as I didn’t have any interviews to go with them, so I made a one-minute introduction primer story for social media.
For more information, here’s an article from Atlas Obscura on Showmen’s Rest. The Mount Olivet Cemetery also has a Bull Rider’s Reprieve section of rodeo stars.
Discover Oklahoma did a story back in 2016 with an interview, which I’ve embedded their video below if you want to learn more.