WEEKEND: Cemetery tour takes visitors into Sequim’s pioneer history

Peninsula Daily News

NOTE: “Today” and “tonight” refer to Friday, Oct. 18.

SEQUIM — The Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley is offering a journey through Sequim’s past on a tour of the town’s first cemetery — present-day Pioneer Memorial Park.

The MAC’s Cemetery Tour will start at the park, 387 E. Washington St., at 10 a.m. today.

Admission, which includes a commemorative brochure about the park, is $15 and can be paid at the park’s clubhourse before the tour begins.

The tour is an official Sequim centennial event.

Sequim residents voted 90-66 to make Sequim an official city Oct. 14, 1913.

The city has been celebrating its 100th year since last October.

It will culminate with a centennial party in Club Seven lounge at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn on Nov. 2.

First cemetery

The park grounds served as Sequim’s first cemetery for some 20 years beginning in 1888 before being abandoned because nearby Bell Creek consistently flooded it.

While the remains and headstones of some were transferred to family homesteads and other local cemeteries for reburial until about 1920, many remain buried in their final resting places throughout the park.

“The headstones that are in the park represent only a small fraction of the people once buried there, not to mention those whose names may have been lost to history because their graves were never marked,” Pioneer Memorial Park historian Priscilla Hudson said.

“The park remains a community place to honor them all.”

Prior to touring the grounds — which will include a visit inside the fenced area that surrounds the remaining headstones — the event will begin in the park clubhouse with short presentations about the cemetery and the park’s 125-year history.

There will also be presentations about some of the cultural artifacts at the park.

The artifacts include a Pysht River canoe and Jamestown S’Klallam totem.

For more information about the tour, phone 360-683-8110 or visit www.macsequim.org.

Last modified: October 17. 2013 5:12PM
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