History of the
Prior to 1881, this graveyard was used by the Duwamish Nation.
Burials from the tribal roll occured while the Nation was
supervised by the Federal Port Madison authority and continued into the 1900's. The granted land
encompassing the Old Burial Grounds as it was called, was then sold
to the Maple family. The Maples were among the first settlers to arrive
by boat at Alki beach. The boat was guided by John Low, who returned for his family and the others after building a cabin in what is now Seattle. PI Seattle History
Photo: Duwamish Tribal logo on its side. Join them in their struggle for National recognition. Visit their newly completed long house.
Samuel A. Maple, who at 53 years old died on July 23, 1880; Jacob Maple, who at 86 years died on September 2, 1884 and who was one of the few who may have been disinterred; Jennie Maple, who at 22 years old died on November 26, 1894; and later Ida E. Maple, who at 25 years died on February 21, 1904, were buried in this cemetery.
Please click here for an ongoing list of burials.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for submissions and/or corrections.
Photo: 1895 plat recording the cemetery. Open burial list, click the image, use EyeSpy tool and see the exact location of many on the list.
Approximately 25 settlers were recorded to be buried on this land before June 11, 1895 which gives this cemetery the highest protection under law, "Historic Graveyard." On this date, A.B. Maple, the Chairman, President and Grand Noble of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and its secretary, T.B.
Rhodes, fixed their signatures and corporate seal before a Notary Public, H.A.
Bateman, to a "Dedication:" hereby declaring "..."to the use of all owners of
lots in this Cemetery" forever the walks and driveways as hereon shown."
Photo: Johnny Jones funeral on March 20th, 1910. "Oldest Brewery Workman." Above the heads of his friends are visible the gravemarkers of the babies buried in the north half of the cemetery. A dimensional analysis performed using the known locations of Jones' plot and the Maple house on the hill, place these markers under the present day homes
On March 20th 1910, Johnny Jones, the oldest brewery worker at the time, was buried in the Comet Lodge Cemetery. This PDF can be opened and magnified to show above the numerous mourners, the baby grave markers. These markers are clearly shown and if one were to do a dimetional analysis based upon Mr. Jones known grave spot and the Maple house seen on the hill, it is shows clearly that the baby burial spots are under the houses in the north half of the burial grounds.
|1911-1927||Photo: Plat showing Seattle's graveyard purchases in the 1920's from the Corson family.|
The last recorded burial was a child named Jewel Lundin, who passed at 3 years of age on Sept. 21, 1936.
Photo: 1936 aerial view showing graveyard in use with an entrance on South Graham Street at 22 Avenue South.
Efforts to restore this cemetery were attempted, but because of King County and the City of Seattle's meritless foreclosures in 1938, no one would grant permission. Twenty-two attempts to save this resting ground were stopped by the city and county.
Photo: 1946 aerial view showing graveyard still with its integrity and in use with its entrance on South Graham Street barely visible.
On April 21, 1954 the City of Seattle asks King County how much to buy a strip on land in the graveyard. King County replies: "Your attention is directed to the fact that the property is a part of the old Comet Lodge Cemetery and the portion required by the City of Seattle includes the graves or remains of deceased persons buried therein. We have been informed that it will be necessary for a court order to issue
authorizing the disinterment of said remains and reburial elsewhere. This
requirement will be an obligation of the City of Seattle." $28.00.
Photo: 1956 aerial view showing graveyard losing its integrity with its entrance on South Graham Street barely visible.
|1957-1972||Photo: 1956 aerial (place marker for pdf documents of King County warning City of Seattle not to dig in Historic cemetery)|
In 1976, Judy, drew a map of the cemetery with the gravestones in their original location. The map is a part of a book of photos of the stones with their locations and inscriptions included. Explore this remarkable work with the EyeSpy tool.
Photo: 1976 hand drawn map showing very accurate locations of grave markers.
On November 2, 1987, All Souls' Day or as celebrated in Mexico, the Day of the Dead, City of Seattle ignores King County warning of 1954 and proceeds to deeply trench through the graveyard and through the gravesite of Edmond P. Getchell, who at 50 years old, passed on April 16, 1903, and had the misfortune to be buried in the SW 1/4 of Block 91 in the direct path of the City's trenchers. On this day the City Engineering report states that the City contractor bulldozed the gravestones. In 1990, the gravestones of William Dickinson and Samuel Bevan were found near the gutter on South Graham Street. The City, claiming that the graveyard no longer exists tells the curious that the stones are for the taking, there are no bodies within and that it is a constuction site that has not finished clearing the markers. A check of zoning and property use maps from the City shows that the property is now retail space.
Photo: 1997 aerial view shows a graveyard, which has lost its integrity after the sewer main was completed. The City now allows houses to be built atop graveyard. City and County officials, from the Mayor and Executive down, deny its past existence. A letter from the Director of the Department of Construction and Land Use, Rick Krochalis, to Mayor Norm Rice and John Dickinson is very emphatic with its ukase. "There is no graveyard on Beacon Hill!" The Mayor's office during Rice and Schell's term continued their denial of the existence of the cemetery until Executive Ron Sims converted it to a dogs run free neighborhood park with decorative tombstones. Rick Krochalis' letter denying graveyard's existence.
moving father?s grave to build a sewer.
Now what's the use in having a religion,
Now father in his life was not a quitter,
Oh won't there be some bleedin' consternation;
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