Dawson was once a thriving mining town in northeastern New Mexico, though now only its graveyard remains. The hundreds of metal crosses that line the landscape all bear testament to a soul lost in the mines. Many of them died in tragic explosions. You can learn more here. You can still visit Dawson Cemetery, though the roads are a bit dicey. I would only recommend going when the weather is nice, and there is plenty of light.
In the world of Kindling, the cemetery weathered the Long Winter. Eventually survivors moved into the valley and named their settlement after the landmark.
The scrap of paper in the bottom panel bearing the town’s name is from Bierce’s journal. Among other things, Bierce trades in information. Keeping that information encoded is a way of preventing literate individuals from simply taking his journal and using it without his consent.