Pioneer Cemetery in Snohomish, WA

This is an intriguing bit of history, located just above the main drag through Snohomish, WA. I shall tell you the story as I understand it, but I readily admit that I am a bit foggy on the details.

In the late 1800’s, one of Seattle’s pioneering families, John & Lydia Low, were buried in this cemetery, along with many other pioneers of the area. The last burial was early in the 1900’s, and then the cemetery became overgrown and somewhat forgotten. In the 1940’s, the state cut a road right through the center, relocating all of the bodies they came across to nearby Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Cemetery, as well as the tombstones…not necessarily matched together, mind you. Here you can see cemetery in the foreground & background with the road running through the center.Pioneer Cemetery close to road in Snohomish

Since then, a senior center and parking lot have been built on top of sections of the graveyard, and remaining tombstones have been moved to the “Fake cemetery” up on the hill as a memorial to those buried nearby. Some of them are truly stunning headstones for whom I’m sure were stunning people (after all, this place was quite wild when they showed up!)Stunning headstone at Pioneer Cemetery in Snohomish

Also on this corner of the cemetery is Kikendall cabin, which was moved here in the mid 1960’s, I think, from it’s original home nearby. When I was trying to find out for sure, I found this article from 1964 published in the now defunct Monroe Monitor newspaper. The cabin boasts an amazing fireplace/chimney that you can see in the photo above. Here is the cabin from another angle so readers can see the impressive (yet unintended) collection of moss on the roof:Kikendall cabin with moss on roof

There used to be a Kikendall Cabin Historical Society, and on their website they wrote about the history of the family and the cabin. The following is a snippet:

Kikendall built the Kikendall log cabin in 1875 on a 120 acre Pilchuck River homestead, that was purchased for $1.50 an acre. The log cabin was located first north of Snohomish between the Snohomish-Machias Road, on the banks of the Pilchuck River. This cabin was once one of the pioneer landmarks of the area with its big stone fireplace, huge chinked logs and spacious porches. The first floor of the original cabin was just one room and extended to the back wall of the parlor. The cabin was twenty feet wide and sixteen feet deep. The Kikendall family moved into their new home in October of 1875. The kitchen area was added on the back about twenty years later (about 1895) increasing the depth to twenty -five feet. The second floor was used for sleeping quarters. When the cabin was eventually wired for electricity, the light bulb was located over the organ not only for light but to help keep the organ warm and dry during the winter months.

I must say that I was amazed at the lack of signage in this area. A person just pulls into the shopping center parking lot & walks to this plot in the corner to see a slice of history. I had to come home and Google it before I could find out what it was. While I was Google-ing, I found this great Seattle Times article here that explains a lot about why the cemetery has been rearranged so much over the years. Hopefully there will not be any further development on this plot of land, but unfortunately for the deceased, this is a very rapidly growing area and the demand for land keeps rising, so I won’t get my hopes too high.

Headstones in Snohomish's Pioneer Cemetery, a.k.a. Pilchuck Cemetery
Headstones in Snohomish’s Pioneer Cemetery, a.k.a. Pilchuck Cemetery

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.

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