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.

Discovering the Truth

I found this little gem in the Monroe library (part of the Sno-Isle library system of Snohomish & Island Counties in Washington state) the other day and thought it was such a great idea! The 4th grade class of John Luvera from Coupeville, WA  (under the guidance of their student teacher, Rachel Smith) found interesting local elders, listened to their stories, and wrote a little biography on them. They published the book to give to the library’s local history collection so these stories could be preserved for future generations. Unfortunately, it is labeled as a reference book, so you can only view it at the Monroe library. If you are interested, here are the elders who were featured:

Bob Podraza, Jean Paul Combettes, Marjorie Thornton, Virginia Herdesty, Ellen Schell, Ryan Samplawski, Gale Sims, Betty Strickland, Tom Thorton, Irene Moisin, and Peggy Gleason.

And if you happen to be planning a trip to the Monroe library, be sure to bring your young children because they have an absolutely wonderful, brand new play space designed for families, filled with toys to enhance literacy development. As an added bonus, children are never required to use a whisper voice in the library…if you want a quiet space, you can go to a quiet room.

Library play area

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.

Kirkland Cemetery Fountain

As I was wandering through Kirkland’s cemetery, unsuccessfully searching for the graves of my husband’s ancestors, Caroline Mary & William Friedrich Wendt, I stumbled upon this fountain. It appears to have been out of commission for a season or two, although if the plan was to only have it on during the nice-weather-season, it should be on now. It sits in the center of the cemetery, surrounded by benches and picturesque plantings, and I could envision the glory that once was. The little plaque says it was dedicated December 11th, 1999, so that glory couldn’t have been all too long ago. The City of Kirkland Parks & Recreation website (they are the owners of the cemetery) refer to it as “Centennial Fountain,” but this can be a bit confusing as there is a very large (& more well known) sculpture in a nearby park bearing the same title.

Located in Kirkland Cemetery
Dedication plaque with list of contributors

Here is a transcription of the contributors listed on the plaque:

$1,000 or more – City of Kirkland; Corrine Rose Hieb, In Memory of Henry Hieb; Kirkland Women’s Club GFWC; Robert & Marigene Curry; Kirkland City Council; Kirkland Herritage Society; Kiwanis Club of Kirkland

$100 to $999 – Bank of America; S.J. Barrett & Company; Patricia Boyd, In Memory of Ralph Boyd; John & Stephanie Christman; Ralph & Doris Cooper; Fraternal Order of Eagles #2681; John Havekotte & Patty Hieb; Carl & Joanne Hieb Matz; Mary Lou Henning; Audrey Huey & Donald Dery; Shirley Johnson; Kirkland Eagles Auxiliary #2681; Jerry & Patti Marsh; Charles & Florence Morgan; Robert & Christine Neir; Steve Ohrt & Christine Matz; Bill Petter; Rose Hill Study Club; Alan Stein; Herbert & Jean Swanson & Family; Patricia M. Pierce Watson; Anna Yon, In Memory of Colonel Frank E. Yon; Dale & Dorothy Anderson, In Memory of Dorn Anderson; Robert G. Burke; Jim & Pat Carter; Sants & Sue Contreras; Hulda Emils; Audrey Haroldson; Alan Michael Hieb; Jim & Teri Hieb, Christopher, Austin & Shelby; James & Madona Henwood; Jean Jayne; Link & Ginny Kaiser; Kirkland Lodge #150 F&AM; Ann McLaughlin Oban; The Mueller Family; Nordice Nicholson; Muriel Olson; Bea Richardson; Friends, In Memory of Marian Sandner; Michael & Sharon Vanderslice; Westgate Lodge #128 F&AM

Update – I just found this photo online of what it looked like at one point:

Former glory of Centennial Fountain
Former glory of Centennial Fountain

If anyone has more information on this little gem, I would love to know!

9-2-15 Update: I just received an email from the Kirkland Parks Operation Manager, Jason Filon-

The fountain was donated by the Kirkland’s Women’s Club.  Specially there was this wonderful gal by the name of Corrine Hieb that was most instrumental in bringing the fountain to the Kirkland Cemetery.

The City of Kirkland is currently under a ‘water advisory’.  What this means to our Parks operations department is that we are making every effort to not only conserve water but also be an example to the Community in the stewardship of the resource.  Some of the examples included:  reducing and or shutting off some park watering, shutting off all fountains, discontinued washing our pick-up trucks, discontinued power-washing, etc..etc….  Basically any and all things to help save water.  Thankfully these past couple of days have really been a blessing.  Once the agencies that set water policy and restrictions remove the advisory we will most likely turn the fountains back on.

Thanks, Jason!

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.

From FamilyFun Magazine

I read these excerpts from an article in the May 2015 issue of FamilyFun Magazine, published by, and they really hit the nail on the head for what I endorse in a road trip:

Make Personal Connections

By Laura Billings Coleman

Our family’s vacation road map began to materialize last summer, when 9-year-old Finn asked for a membership to (go figure). The two of us went right down the rabbit hole, turning up sailors and Puritan settlers up and down the East Coast, including in Groton, Massachusetts, the destination for an October family wedding.

Thus inspired, we took 10 days off from school for a study of colonial America, diving deep into the places tied to our forebears’ arrival in the New World. Starting on Cape Cod, we tracked familiar names around Massachusetts, from Concord (my tenth great-grandfather was a founder of that town in 1635), to Salem (where the wife of our eighth great-uncle was the first to be hanged at the witch trials), to Boston-area Revolutionary War battle sites (where some of our forebears fought as minutemen, and others sided with the crown). My three sons, ages 9, 11, and 12, dutifully documented their discoveries for their history teachers at home, but we were happy being tourists, too, watching whales, visiting art galleries, and eating lobster rolls.

New England in the fall is a fantastic destination for many reasons, but having family connections to uncover gave our travels there an added dimension that kept all three boys curious and full of questions. Seeing family names on gravestones — and even watching a reenactment of the trial of our “Auntie” Bridget Bishop in Salem — brought history home in a whole new way.

Build on a Child’s Passions

By Alisson Clark

Older kids can be notoriously hard to please on vacation. There’s no instant joy from a newly discovered playground, no napping in a stroller while mom and dad take in a museum. So when our son, Owen, started playing trombone in middle school, we planned a trip around his passion for jazz. Our destination: New Orleans, which offers plenty of kid-friendly opportunities to explore the city’s legendary musical heritage.

We arrived during a free festival that drew performers from around the world and began our visit watching a parade of middle- and high-school brass bands. We also saw drum circles and dance groups. And when a strolling band broke into an impromptu show on a street corner, Owen saw that performances don’t have to wait for an end-of-year school concert. Sharing music can always be part of your life.

We had envisioned the trip as a way to deepen Owen’s interest in music, but my husband and I learned things, too. Playing to our son’s expertise meant that he got to teach us (a great way to get older kids to open up). Not only did he explain the difference between a tuba and a sousaphone and what puts the swing in a swing rhythm, he shared more about band, and his life in general, on that trip than he had the whole year!

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.