Historic Everett gave tours of the Evergreen Cemetery this last weekend. I had never toured a cemetery before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The tour was fantastic, though. Gene Fosheim, author of Milltown Boy, led the tour. He shared a ton of interesting Everett history with us. Here are 5 things I learned about the Evergreen cemetery.
1. Five state champion trees.
I didn't know trees had state champions, but apparently they do. A state champion tree is a tree that is the largest of that type of tree within the entire state. And the Evergreen cemetery has 5 of 'em! The cemetery is beautiful all around, with rolling green hills and mountain views.
2. Lots of local history.
No one actually knows what the oldest grave marker is in the cemetery. Many have sank or gone missing since the late 1800's. Studying the old tombstones naturally led to discussion of moments in area history. Such as gold miners that died at Monte Cristo (like the one pictured below), the Everett massacre, and other local historical events.
3. Interesting burials.
Gene pointed out some interesting burials as well. Such as the gentlemen who was buried sitting upright in his chair. Another guy who lost his arm in a mill accident, and had his arm buried on one side of the cemetery, and then he was later buried on the other side of the cemetery. I suppose in a 100+ year old cemetery you're bound to have some interesting burials.
4. Notable people.
Along with 4 state senators, President Obama's Great Great Great Grandmother, Rachel Wolflay, is buried at the cemetery. There are a lot of veterans buried there, including 150 Civil War veterans. I've always had a tough time connecting with history. Something about studying the tombstones of men who fought in a war over 150 years ago is pretty profound, though. Especially when all this history is resting in our own neighborhood.
5. The legend of Rucker's Tomb.
Speaking of notable people, we have to talk about the most notable tombstone of the bunch: Rucker's Tomb. Built by one of the prominent founding families of Everett, you can catch glimpses of the 30 foot tall granite pyramid as you drive by on 41st street. It's by far the largest tomb in the entire cemetery, and the only one of its kind. It has a 4 inch thick door which only members of the Rucker family have keys to. Apparently the keys are about a foot long. The tomb has 22 crypts, and only about half of them are full. If you grew up in the area, you've probably heard the urban legends of this tomb. It was also featured in the 1995 movie, "Assassins", with Sylvester Stallone.
There's probably a ton more interesting history at the Evergreen Cemetery than the brief points I mentioned above. These were just some things I caught on my tour. I highly recommend attending future tours. It was only a suggested $5 donation, and they even hooked us up with free cookies and water. Make sure you subscribe to our Weekly Goodness newsletter and we'll be sure to let you know when the next tour comes up.
Want more Everett history? Check out Historic Everett as well as the Northwest Room at the Everett Public Library. They're both phenomenal resources. Or, if you're already knowledgeable about Everett history and willing to write a guest post for the Live In Everett blog, drop us a line. We'd love to collaborate.
Everett Advocate + Realtor