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.
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 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?