14 Mayors – of One City

Videos & photos of Edmonds Memorial Cemetery Tour

One need that all humans seem to share no matter what language you speak or what country you live in, is the need to feel important.

One of Dale Carnegie’s classics says it like this, “Lincoln once begin a letter saying, ‘Everybody likes a compliment.’ William James said, ‘The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’ He didn’t speak remind you, of the ‘wish’ or the

‘desire’, or the ‘longing’ to be appreciated. He said the ‘craving’ to be appreciated. Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and “Even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies.”

Think about your day for a moment. Are you looking forward to interactions with others? Or a task that brings you to smile? If you explore your connection to the thought-in-focus, it can lead to a part of your personality that you find value in. A part that ties ego to reality.

There, in that connection is a way that helps you feel important. Knowing that you matter to someone be it an individual, a family, a group, an organization, an industry; all are vital to our inherent social nature.

If the thought of a lone mountain man comes to mind or a monk, a silent nun – then think of this; they still have ecosystems that they are interactive with. A lone mountain man will still have animal neighbors. A silent monk or nun will have group dining as a part of their social activities. We all want to feel important for a reason.

It is with that thought we found ourselves in the final resting place of over 7 thousand people including 14 City Mayors of Edmonds, Washington, USA. Edmonds Memorial Cemetery

The chances of being in the same space as 14 City Mayors is unlikely to happen for most of us at any point. Here is your opportunity. A great way to begin is by stopping in to the office to say, “Hello.”

A tiny garaged house sits on the far end of the lot. There isn’t many parking spots so we pulled up on the grass behind the service truck. No, signs! Hope I didn’t upset the groundskeeper.

Around the side of the house is a humble door that leads to a narrow hallway. This is the office entrance and the first thing you see upon entry is a placard giving the history of the little maple tree a few hundred yards from the entrance.

It is hiding just to the left of the trunk of this quite a large maple now that I noticed it.  Look for the vertical twig.  As I was looking at the tree I was happy for a dry 60*s day. Although cloudy, we wouldn’t need to worry about mud or rain on the media equipment. I’m learning how to use my Sony A6000 dual macro lens.

As I exited the office post pleasantries with the nice office lady, the cemetery Sexton Cliff Edwards pulled up on the landscaping buggy. Asking him if he had a favorite grave or recommendations on which to visit brought a round of giggling. “No, I work here, I don’t have a favorite. They’re all the same to me. That over there is the only site with a fence around it.”

He was referring to the grave of George Bracket as he was pointing with an extended arm. Mr. Bracket was the founder of Edmonds and the very first Mayor. He put in the first post office, waterworks and grocery store. The brochure says that Mayor Bracket brought the lumber by boat up from Seattle to be able to build his house. Here is a photo of the grave image for this pioneer. To me, life back then would be like living on a different planet! His hat pictured is the iconic pioneer hat! Yosemite Sam anyone?

Sexton Cliff was cordial and nursing a broken foot. I didn’t want to take him up on his offer to tour guide for us. Later we crossed paths at the Columbarium where he was escorting another guest. I wondered if the guest was a widow or if she had family here. Those crutches are getting good use I bet. He’s an active one!

The Columbarium is built into the corner of the lot along the street where you drive in. It’s an uppercase “L” shape with a fountain in the corner. Definitely my favorite place to visit here. Wheelchair ramp accessibility included is so nice.

Click to see FOUNTAIN video

The columbarium has space for more people still. It is a stately corner of the cemetery. I practiced using my drone to take videos and next I’ll need to practice how to make sure it’s recording. Le sigh! Looking forward to offering future drone footage at more sites we tour.

Miss M had the map as navigator. We located several of the graves on the map. There were a few we could not find it all! Some of the stories were so interesting. There is every part of the spectrum of life represented in the collection of stories on the brochure and site inscriptions.

Cliff (Cemetery Sexton) was telling us about how some of the elementary school children will come for history field trips. Some of the teachers have made a paper game where the students need to find the grave to find the dates and fill them in on their sheets. This is an incredibly good way to engage your children with a tough topic like this one.

One grave I found specifically because of the last sentence in the brochure’s story for him, was for Fred Fourtner 1876-1965. He owned a cigar store, movie theater, downtown building and hardware store. Definitely a business man. But the last line in his story was what he was known for. It still inspires a chuckle every time I read it. “He was mayor for 18 years and was known for sleeping through City Council meetings.”

History

(From official site)

Founded in 1891, the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery & Columbarium began on four acres of land donated to the I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) Lodge No. 96 by Thomas E. White, an early settler. At that time Edmonds was a small mill town. The cemetery site was enlarged in 1904 and 1908 and once comprised about 8 acres. In 1946 the cemetery was sold to a succession of private individuals until 1982 when Larry Hubbard, a longtime Edmonds resident, purchased the cemetery and willed it to the City of Edmonds, which now maintains its upkeep. The current cemetery size is about 61 /2 acres. In 1972 the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery was placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places. There are presently over 7000 people buried in the cemetery, including 14 former Edmonds mayors, 400 veterans of six different wars and many Edmonds pioneers. We invite you to take this self-guided tour to learn a little more about the history of the people who helped shape Edmonds into the town that it is today.

Visitors are welcome anytime between dawn and dusk. _______________________

Mark it on your calendar: If you are in the area, there are 2 events open to the public and free.

Official site info: Cemetery Events
The Cemetery Board, an advisory committee comprised of local volunteers, organizes two public events a year: a Memorial Day observance held annually on Memorial Day and the “Walk Back in Time” open house held on the third Thursday of July. Both events are free and held at the cemetery.

Another point of interest is the Ossuary. The background is neat as well. The site where the cemetery well used to be was turned into an ossuary and now can be selected as a way to scatter ashes in the vault. It displays a large granite memorial marker for names. During a ceremony they open the lid of the vault and an individual will pour the cremated remains into the granite above ground hexagon cylinder.

If you visited Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, what would you want Cliff to show you first? Let me know.

Post by: Holly Berry

Photos/videos by: Holly Berry

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On the web: Free Obituary – BeyondTheDash.com

Beyond the Dash is a digital space for families and loved ones to remember the dashes of precious loved ones who have passed away. Whether or not the death was recent, it’s always appropriate to share the story of a person who made an impact on you. Once your story is published online, you can share it with family and friends, and invite these loved ones to contribute photos and memories to the growing digital memorial.

Thinking of someone? Create a free obituary on Beyond the Dash today.”

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