Monthly Archives: March 2010

Any volunteers?

Flickr photo: superhua


This week, some readers asked about specific cemetery volunteer work needs. After shooting out a few emails, I found some sites that would love extra help in surveying, research, maintenance, or even conservation skills. And while only a few sites have responded at this time, I do anticipate others coming forward. Once that happens, I’ll update this post. 

Saar Pioneer Cemetery, Kent, WA: Karen Bouton did a magnificent job in cleaning both the grounds and the stones on this site, but it’s tough handling this all by herself. If you are interested in helping, please send an email to:

Fall City Cemetery, Fall City, WA: Ruth Pickering, President of the Fall City Historical Society, is looking for volunteers skilled in site surveys or historical research. There might even be some conservation needs. Her eventual goal is to plan a cemetery tour highlighting the interesting life stories of the early Fall City pioneers. Contact email: 

Tolt Historical Cemetery, Carnation, WA: Isabel Jones, President and Director of the Tolt Historical Society, is looking for a few good volunteers that might be able to help with restoring/maintaining several of the broken and worn stones at the site. A previous post shows the need in more detail. Contact email:

Newcastle Coal Miners’ Cemetery, Newcastly, WA: Pam Lee, President of the Newcastle Historical Society, welcomes potential volunteer help – especially from those with grant writing, webmaster, record organizing skills! If interested, drop in to say hello at one of the Newcastle Historical Society monthly meetings. When?  The first Thursday of every month from 4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. Where? The Newcastle City Hall Community Room. Note: April’s meeting will be Thursday, April 8

Washington State Paranormal Investigations & Research isn’t just about the extraordinary. They also take cemetery restoration seriously with their ‘adoption’ of a tiny, overgrown site called Hillgrove Cemetery. Located near Sea-Tac airport, this privately-owned cemetery is the final resting place of many Highline pioneer families. More than 350 people are buried at Hillgrove. Veterans interred there are from the Civil War (both North and South), the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korea. Enthusiastic volunteers willing to prune, weed, rake, and more.  Interested? Contact Patricia at to sign up for cleanup date announcements.


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4,000 year old cemetery in Northern China

Small River Cemetery #5


This morning, The New York Times reported that archeologists have re-discovered a unique cemetery, called Small River Cemetery #5,  located on the eastern edges of the fierce Taklimakan desert. The cemetery is unique for several reasons: 1. the desolate location; 2. distinct European features, plus DNA markers, of the preserved mummies; and 3. the apparent civilization’s focus on procreation for survival’s sake in a harsh land. 

Read the full story here.

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Snapshots: Sculpture in Barcelona’s Cementiri de l’Est


Established in 1773, this cemetery was originally placed outside the eastern city limits for hygiene reasons. Generations of interesting statues fill the various nooks and crannies here. 

At rest...


While many of the carvings (and mausoleums) are now vandalized and broken, a few statues remain intact. This is one of them. 


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Woodinville Mead: A ‘proper’ cemetery with a touch of mystery


Entrance to Woodinville Memorial Mead


“First used for burials in the late 1870s, it was officially deeded to the citizens of Woodinville on April 4, 1898 by Ira and Susan Woodin.” 

While some historical cemeteries might have a tumultuous history, many are still fortunate to play a quiet, yet well-loved part in their local communities. Woodinville Mead is one such place (or so it might seem). Loggers were the first to call this spot home but it was the farmers who helped turn a meandering bog into today’s award-winning wineries and microbreweries

At one time, this area of King County (approximately 20 miles northeast of Seattle) was so heavily forested that tree stumps were used as shelters and even temporary housing. Sawmills sprouted at various sites throughout what was to become Washington Territory so that by 1889, the year of statehood, 310 mills from the Columbia to the Canadian line, were cutting 1.06 million board feet of lumber. * 

However, loggers had little use for the cleared land and as they moved deeper into the vast forests, farmers discovered the rich soil, spreading the news to family and friends seeking a respite from the urban rush of late 19th century Seattle. Soon, farmers quickly outstripped the number of remaining loggers. 

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Snapshots: The Presidio’s book of life


Situated in the middle of the San Francisco National Cemetery is a magnificent example of a Book of Life. According to Douglas Keister’s, Stories in Stone, “An open book is a favorite device for registering the names of the deceased, in its purest form, an open book can be compared to the human heart, its thoughts and feelings open to the world and to God.”

This one is so realistically carved that it’s almost possible to imagine turning the pages.

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