Monthly Archives: October 2009

One for the genealogists


Halloween is fun.

Between trick or treating, anticipating unique costumes (I once saw someone dressed as a flower pot), house decorations, long-suffering pets in cute getups and children double-whammied by excitement and sugar highs, what’s not to like?

And while I don’t write about ghosts or vampires, this year will be a little different as I’d like to quote a funny anecdote. It comes from one of the most helpful reference books on my shelf; Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s, Your Guide to Cemetery Research.


Zombies In The Cemetery Continue reading


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Snapshots: Mysterious family crests


Below is an unfamiliar carving that looks very much like a Finnish family crest. It was found on a Woodmen of the World headstone dedicated to David Lunden, born 1875 in Finland. Lunden later emigrated to the US to find work in the Black Diamond coal mines.

unknown fraternal organization

On November 6, 1910, an explosion rocked the Lawson Mine, causing a slope cave in. Sixteen miners were killed that day, including Lunden who was working as a fire boss. Records show that most of the miners earned less than $4/day for their work.

Blog post_Lunden crest




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Decoding the kanji stones


Japanese kanji-style stones

Japanese kanji inscriptions


In the September 24th posting on Weathering, vandalism & maintenance, I wrote about some cleaning options that could be useful for most cemeteries, with the exception of Auburn Pioneer. In this particular site, the lichen and moss add a unique Buddhist zen aesthetic to the delicate cement markers. Rather than destroy both the marker and the writings, the caretakers would prefer finding someone to copy the old kanji inscriptions for translation before it disappears forever. 

Kristy Lommen, one of the webmasters for the Auburn Pioneer cemetery website, is working with a Japanese translator on doing just that. She discusses the challenges and progress further in her guest post below. Continue reading


Filed under Commentary, Restoration, Symbols, Travel

Stones & Bones presentation schedule

The following dates and locations have been scheduled for Stones & Bones: Discovering secrets in King County’s oldest cemeteries.  All events are free and open to the public.

Date:                     October 16, 2009
Time:                    11.00am – 1.00pm
Location              Bellevue Regional Library

Date:                   October 18, 2009
Time:                   3.00pm to 4.30pm
Location:           4326 – 337th Pl SE, Fall City
With:                   Fall City Historical Society &  general public

Date:                     October 31, 2009
Time:                    10.30am – 12.00pm
Location:            Seattle Public Library, Main Location, Microsoft Auditorium
 This event will be hosted by the Seattle Public Library’s Special Collection

Date:                     November 5, 2009
Time:                    4.00pm – 5.30pm
Location:            13020 Newcastle Way, Newcastle, WA‎
With:                    Newcastle Historical Society & general public

Events are sponsored in part by 4Culture, Allied Arts Foundation & Seattle Public Library Special Collections


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