14 Mayors – of One City

videos & photos of Edmonds Memorial Cemetery Tour

One need humans 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 a group, an organization, an industry, a family or an individual is 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 don’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 big maple tree a few hundred yards from the entrance.

It is quite a large maple now that I’m paying attention to it. Larger than most in this region. As I was looking up 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. George 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 he 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. Life back then would be like living on a different planet to me. His hat pictured is the iconic pioneer hat! Yosemite Sam anyone?

Cliff was cordial and nursing a broken leg. I didn’t want to take him up on his offer to tour guide for us. Later we crossed paths at the columbarium when 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 seeing 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 was telling us about how some of the elementary school children will come for history field trips. Some of the teachers had made a paper game where they could 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 topic tough like this one.

One grave I found specifically because of the last sentence in the brochure’s story for him, 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. _______________________

There are 2 events open to the public and free every year worth marking on your calendar if you are in the area.

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

_________________________________________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?

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

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.