14 Mayors – of One City

HistoryLived visiting Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, WA - USA

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.”

Comet Lodge Cemetery – Part One

There was once a 5 acre cemetery on the East side of Boeing Field that has a sad and disrespected history.

Comet Lodge No. 139
Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is located on S Graham Street, on Beacon Hill’s western slope. An suspected 800 pioneers are said to be buried here, but only 424 souls are documented on the original cemetery roster. Over a 100 of them infants in an area once called “babyland”.

This site was originally used by the Duwamish nation and the early white settlers referred to this area as the “Old Burial Grounds”.

The property was deeded to the Maple family under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) on 9/24/1895 as a graveyard in King County. People were buried up until 1930s. Last recorded burial was 9/21/36.

Most of the cemetery is now occupied by 11 houses, the paved roads of 23rd Avenue South and all of 22nd Avenue South. These structures were built on top of “babyland” and other graves sites.

Piles of headstone bases

Yep, you heard me correctly, but let me say it again:

THESE STRUCTURES WERE BUILT ON TOP OF GRAVES. THE HEADSTONES REMOVED FROM THE PROPERTY, BUT NO BODIES RELOCATED.

The only space that resembles the once large “cemetery” is now the neighborhood dog park with a terrible concrete sign bearing the name “Comet Lodge Cemetery”. It’s a grassy area, dotted with older conifers with randomly scattered and broken headstones that aren’t representing any physical location of anyone. This sad result is due to the City of Seattle bulldozing the remaining burial grounds on November 2, 1987 to accommodate the new sewer line they were putting in.

The people buried under incorrect headstones.

The command of the IOOF is to”visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” But history shows that none of these were put into practice at Comet Lodge.

How does a cemetery end up being a housing development and dog park? What caused the IOOF, the City of Seattle and King County to let this happen?

Wear all white

Photos by: Matt Barnes

Acceptable colors to wear at work are black, gray and navy blue. The professional staff will wear the occasional white or light blue business shirt under their dark suit jackets. Some sassy authority bucking interns will try red and other colors.

As the years have progressed my wardrobe slowly became more and more business and dark earth tones. It’s just easier to mix and match leisure or active wear with work shirts for example, if the color scheme is the same.

To be honest I’ve been sporting around my lightweight black hiking quick dry pants at work lately. I really like how versatile they are. I can be in a morning meeting at 9am and on a forest path by dinner without having to change them.

I remember buying and wearing my first formal business suit and how awkward it felt. Like a costume. It took a year or so before I wasn’t highly aware of it.

Fast forward to now, it’s part of the usual, like clockwork and not a second thought. So, one morning in the few moments of deciding what to go with for the day (on a day off of work) my desire for some balance lead me to a completely white monotone outfit.

I even had some white sports shoes in a back drawer. This was risky since I’m not that agile and for a bit I was wondering if I just shouldn’t even eat or drink in this experiment.

But as luck would have it I completed an errand day without incident. My Doc even dished and was telling me about his “retirement” wardrobe that consisted of clothes like my white outfit and khaki. Very beach friendly.

I thought he was on to a great idea. What better way to help tell your brain that it’s your time to relax? We wear specific clothes for events, why not have “day off” or “retirement” be as important as work and sports when it comes to clothes?

Yeah, sweats and a t-shirt kind of count. But I want something that I can go out in public wearing and feel good about it.

So began my habit of wearing all white sometimes.

Do you have a quirky style habit that is influenced by your career or industry? I’d be happy to hear about it.

An undertaker’s top hat: I like how in the UK Funeral Directors will wear top hats. ‘Paging’ (walking at the head of the cortege) at a funeral is also something that would be formal and add to the ceremony. I have yet to experience either as I haven’t seen them done in WA state (where I am) yet.

Or if there was, it was performed by military, police or other fraternities.

An older Funeral Director did bequeath a real top hat to me at work. I keep it on a shelf near my desk just in case. It inspires a smile when I look at it.

In the web: Death Over Dinner

In the web: Emergency Responder Funeral Directors

By: HollyBerry

Talkeetna, AK – Gateway to Denali

Mt Foraker, Hunter and Denali
Mt. Foraker, Hunter and Denali

Talkeetna, AK is the gateway to Denali. All climbers must start their adventure here. Since 1992, 75 mountaineers from 13 countries who have lost their lives on Denali, Foraker or Hunter are memorialized in the Talkeetna Cemetery.

Ice Axe Grave Marker
Prop Plane Propeller Grave Markers

When we visited in 2016, I noticed the headstones were very creative. Some markers were airplane propellers. There was also a few pairs of ice axes. They must have been approved by the Mayor… By the way did you know the Mayor of Talkeetna is a cat?

Burton A. Burton

In the misty morning after a birthday celebratory weekend for Matt we waited out the line for the ferry by visiting a local cemetery. “MtBaker Cemetery”

It was classic foggy cemetery scenery. So many movies came to mind. You could smell the moss and my ankles were wet from walking through the grass.

My favorite headstone was of a man who’s headstone lists his first and last name as exactly the same. Someday I’d love to find out if that is indeed his real legal name: Burton A. Burton – the engraved photo was epic to boot. It felt like he was pointing and staring right at you.

Links to marker and grave finder sites included below. Let me know if you find him, or more info on him!

The other two landmarks I really enjoyed were the history museum and the stone tower.

The history museum was made out of authentic pioneer one room cabins. Six cabins were moved close together and an outer building was built over and around them. They had so many cool antique relics. You could also hear interviews of some of the residents in a voices library. Click on the link to hear their stories.

I supported the museum by purchasing a donation brick that will get engraved for Matt. We were there on his actual official birthday and it will have a “happy birthday!” message to him that he can go back and see in the path to the entrance.

The stone tower was built in 1936 and reminded me of what I imagine the inside of real castles (bucket list*) to be like.

Visit San Juans, “Mt. Constitution atop the 2,409-foot-high Mt. Constitution, the highest point on the San Juan Islands, there stands a stone observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. The tower offers panoramic views of surrounding islands, the Cascade Mountains and a variety of Canadian and American cities. Inside the tower, a historical display tells the story of the tower’s construction and the history of Robert Moran, the shipbuilder and former Seattle mayor who donated this land beginning in 1911, and worked toward the development of the park, which was dedicated in 1921. A gift shop and learning center operated by the Friends of Moran offers maps, unique gifts, cards and information about the park and its fascinating past.”

Overall it was healthy to slow down and appreciate the, “island time” as they say in this area. Cheers to another year of good friends and family. Cheers to one more beautiful hike to the top of a mountain where perspectives realign with serenity.

Oh! And cheers to you, Burton A. Burton with your intriguing name and headstone of epicness.

By: HollyBerry

06-02-2019
More online searching brought up some great references and YouTube videos of Mr. Burton.

Online search for Burton: Part of Burton’s story in Wikipedia

Burton’s obituary: Obituary Burton A. Burton

YouTube: Burton on film.

Photos by: HollyBerry

Markers

More info

You Are Not Alone

Do you know a Funeral Director? Have you ever met one? Until I researched and obtained my internship in the mortuary industry I didn’t know anything about Funeral Directors.

I didn’t know that a Funeral Director could cry. Sometimes your Funeral Director cries with you.

Similar to First Responders, Funeral Directors are the pillar of strength in the midst of chaos. Remembering that tears are healthy too, is a balanced way to navigate.

The first time I witnessed this was during my internship. I was assisting a Funeral Director with an open casket church service that was to be followed by a burial at a local cemetery not far away, Woodlawn Cemetery.

Of note: Woodlawn is one of the private cemeteries that allows Green Burials as of this post.

Slavic funerals I have worked generally include embalming, an open casket church service, MANY extra large floral easels, family photos with the casketed deceased and burial services the same day. The funeral songs are amazing to me and, “go straight to your bones” as my coworker said that day.

You can here what I heard here: (audio file link) Google Drive

I was looking forward to the outdoors of the cemetery and the breeze. It was sunny and dandelion fluff was floating like snow. When I walked by an Andromeda bush the small flowers smelled like honey.

After the church service the Funeral Director waited for a cue from the family. In a couple minutes she was instructed to close the casket. This was a metal sealing casket. It was the middle of a hot Seattle summer and I was sweating in my suit, trying to remember to flex my legs and not lock my knees. I melt over 80*s F.

The way I was taught to close a casket when part of the ceremony can be described as formal, respectful, slow, and deliberate. Take time to carefully fold the overlay and extendover.

The sister of the deceased burst out in sobs and rushed up to the pulpit area where the casket was being closed. She was not ready to see the lid close over her sister. She clung a bit to the Funeral Director and the Funeral Director hugged her back.

The Funeral Director, my coworker kindly opened the casket and re-adjusted the extendover. As she walked over to where I was standing at-the-ready her head was bowed. Once she met me and raised her head to wait with me until the family was ready, I saw tears running down her cheeks.

She said, “I try not to cry but she really reminded me of my sister and I. That got through.”

By: HollyBerry

Link to video of Holly of “Acts of Compassion

On the web: From another female funeral director

Grief support group: http://www.griefanonymous.comhttp://www.griefanonymous.com

About the location photographed: Palm Royale Cemetery is one of Collier County’s cemeteries. It was established in the spring of 2001 on 25 acres in the North Naples area, Florida. Palm Royale offers a variety of options including ground burial with traditional upright granite memorial, above ground entombment, and options for cremated remains.

By: HollyBerry

Grafton, Utah

In April 2018, me and a good friend of mine flew into Vegas. Over a 10 day period, we visited 6 national parks, drove 2800 miles and discovered many cemeteries along the way.

One of our stops was Zion National Park. We arrived during a rainy spell and for the next hour, bared witness to the rarely seen waterfalls in the park. Since the day was cold and dreary, we decided to explore the area.

It was in Rockville, where we spied a tiny sign with an arrow that said “Grafton”… Of course, our only option was to follow the signs, which lead us down a residential road and across an old bridge onto another barren dirt road.

As we made our way down the road, there were many postings warning of flash floods and be aware of the weather.

THE HISTORY LESSON: Located along the Virgin River, Grafton was a cotton growing community established in 1859. The area is prone to flooding which is documented by the numerous flash flood signs as you head to the townsite. Because of the difficulties with farming, Graphton also developed cattle ranching as a principal industry for the area.

This town has been abandoned twice. Once in 1866 and finally in 1945.

The cemetery was used between 1862 and 1924 and has an estimated 74 to 84 graves. Many with headstones are missing. The cemetery also includes the graves of southern piaute who were friends of the Grafton settlement.

In 1886 Diphtheria and scarlet fever were rampant in Grafton and took many lives.

Joseph Berry
Joseph Berry
Cedar Pete
Cedar Pete Paiute First Nation
Puss Paiute First Nation

2/15/1866 Loretta A. Russel and Elizabeth H. Woodbury died when their swing broke. This is discussed at the cemetery as well as at the townsite. They even have a broken swing at one of the houses. *unsettling*

Photo By: D. Cowles


Notable Facts:

The townsite is now protected and maintained by the Grafton Heritage partnership project.

Old Arizona was filmed here. This was the first talking outdoor movie ever filmed.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed here.

Headstone inscription for humor

Skokomish Indian Assembly of God

May 2018 – On the road trip back from the Washington Olympus Rally we stopped in the little church cemetery of Skokomish Indian Assembly of God.

It was a pleasantly overcast day and Sunday church goers were singing inside the chapel. Evergreen tree scent was all around and it was just temperate enough for my hoodie.

It was a small, “one stoplight” town or area of and across from the Church and Cemetery was the local casino. It occurred to me that I had never seen a casino across from a church and cemetery before.

The inscriptions on the headstones and upright markers were neat. You could tell there had been tribal funding that helped make some of them possible.

My absolute favorite for the day had the quoted inscription, “Pull my finger!” at the top. This sentence was both one I never fathomed I’d see on an upright marker and one I had never wanted to read in hard print.

It did highlight one of humanity’s beautiful traits that I admire… the ability to find humor and laugh in hard or painful situations.

When making funeral arrangements with families the groups that still take moments to pepper conversation with loving jokes and laughter, even though the tears; are a delight to serve and assist through the deep personal life event they are under going.

Don’t ever be shy to ask for the quoted inscription on your headstone that will bring a smile to your friends and family when they stop by to share a moment.

Post by: HollyBerry

In the web: Deathcafe

Stones of Respect


Have you ever been in a cemetery and noticed stones or pebbles set on top of headstones? Yeah me too.

Headstones of Mr. and Mrs. Fritts  at Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery May 2018

I always assumed they were small tokens left behind by loved ones, but after some research, there is more to it. On closer look, most of the stones you see in cemeteries are placed upon Jewish headstones.

Headstone of David James Lee Sharp from Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery May 2018
Headstone of George W Cravey at Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery May 2018

The Jewish religion uses pebbles or stones as they say prayers at the gravesite and leave them on the headstone as they depart. Traditionally, the stones are placed on the grave using their left hand. Pebble in Hebrew is tz’ror which means “bond”.

Headstone of Dorothy Wakefield Murray at Camano Lutheran Cemetery October 2017

This is a form of respect and is symbolic of the deceased being commemorated and still in the thoughts and memories of the living. A forever bond between the living and the deceased. 

Fun Fact: Jewish tradition forbids placing flowers on a grave because it imitates non-Jewish (gentile) practices.

Post by: M

McMillin Mausoleum at Roche Harbor, WA

Our friends met up on San Jaun Island in late September to celebrate birthdays. One of our stops, besides the search for foxes at American Camp, was Roche Harbor Cemetery and the McMillin Mausoleum.


Parking is on the edge of the Roche Harbor airport. The entrance has you wind your way on narrow paths through a small pioneer cemetery before coming to the gates of “Afterglow Vista”.

The McMillin family incorporated this name as their final resting place in relation to the beautiful summer sunsets in the harbor.John Stafford McMillin was born on October 28th 1855 in Indiana. He is a 32° Mason – Knight Templar – Noble of Mystic Shrine Sigma Chi – Methodist – Republican.

The tomb has a replica of the McMillians dining room table. The table is made of limestone to reflect the business the family ran in Roche Harbor along with fellow investors.

The 6 seats are actual crypts for the McMillin family ashes.The mausoleum was designed to have an intentional broken pillar that allows the sun light to shine during the vernal equinox (1st day of spring) which I assume is sybolic for “born again”.

The placement of the chairs was also symbolic and in June the sun shines specifically on the crypts of McMillin and his wife.Buried in the cemetery is over 27 employees and thier children from the Roche Harbor Lime and Cement Company.

Post by: M