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?

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

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

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

🔥 Fire dancing at the funeral home 🔥

Hajera fire dancing at Solie Funeral Home.

One of my favorite duties at the funeral home is managing our participation in the local Everett Artwalk. I volunteer to assist interested newcomers in participating with the other businesses as well as organizing our artist and performers.

To date one of my favorite performers is Miss Hajera. In 2017 she participated in several Artwalks with henna body painting and gave her grand finale on winter solstice with a 🔥 fire dance in the parking lot.

Volunteer drummers began and set the stage as she read a blessing and began to spin balls of live hot flames. The weather was cool and the sun had set. It’s was a spectacular show; the kind that inspires you to try a new hobby you would have never imagined.

Post by: HollyBerry

Photos by: Matt Barnes

Camano Lutheran Cemetery – October 2017

2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery
2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery

Waited all summer to get outside in this area up North with Ms. M! We camped at a deluxe cabin on the Puget Sound water front. No joke, haha!

The shuttle van driver thought we were the next guest speaker because this cabin had a dedicated bathroom with shower separate from the sleeping quarters yet, still attached to the cabin. We hiked, skipped rocks on the water annnnnd … Still made sure to visit a local cemetery on our homeward bound trek.

My favorite part? My favorite part was learning that cattails are eatable, at least some parts, getting a cabin right behind the gift shop, seeing the boathouse where they have historic and group activity events, oh!!! And the café – it’s so granola.

2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery
2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery

Some of the staff are retired soccer mom’s and some are 20s aged with dreadlocks. All of them were talking about soil related topics. Yes, I was dropping as I waited for Ms. M to arrive for breakfast. The smells I liked most were the wet tree moss, the salty beach front air, musty cabin and cafe fresh-herb aroma.

At the cemetery my impression was more of a floating quandary of questions. Wondering about the cemetery sextants and what their experiences on-site had been. I imagined the burials and ceremonies that had taken place since before I was even a thought in anyone’s mind. It was, as it is with these thoughts, awe inspiring and joy provoking.

2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery
2018 Camano Lutheran Cemetery

At the cemetery my impression was more of a floating quandary of questions. Wondering about the cemetery sextants and what their experiences on-site had been.

I imagined the burials and ceremonies that had taken place since before I was even a thought in anyone’s mind. It was, as it is with these thoughts, awe inspiring and joy provoking.

Post by: HollyBerry

Teaching Paint Night at the Funeral Home

As a Funeral Director I’ve grown accustomed to odd and entertaining reactions from people when asked simple conversation starters like, “So what do you do for work?”

One of the challenges we face is connecting with the living before they need mortuary help. It’s not a topic most around me easily enter. It’s not a topic that seems, “normal.”

In my world view it is normal. Not only is it normal, it’s part of my weekly work life. Coordinating the details and working as a liaison for the deceased and their Next-Of-Kin is the essence of my function.

When I was younger I definitely didn’t meet the customer’s expectation of what a Funeral Director looks like. Some customers still assume they will be meeting with a thin, tall, gaunt old man and seem a bit confused until introductions are complete. It all adds to the unique experience.

Connecting with the living can be a challenge in my industry. One way I’ve been bringing the gap in this arena is by hosting events at the Funeral Home.

With Paint Night I was able to take my background in visual arts and lead a class during a paint-and-sip social. The whole event took about 2 hours for the guests and everyone had so much fun, at a funeral home even.

Several of the guests were comfortable enough to venture into the topic of death and ask questions without a direct need for a Funeral Director. In this stress free zone a real connection can be made sans the sorrow.

Such a positive first exposure to this experience left me encouraged and happy to facilitate more Paint Night events. Public requests are welcomed.

By: HollyBerry

In the news: human composting