Oddfellows Cemetery

Oddfellows Cemetery

The font on this tombstone is fantastic!

In a small town north of Seattle lies an interesting cemetery. Tucked within a residential neighborhood, Oddfellows Cemetery, also known as Monroe Park, is a quiet and simple resting place. It is also the last cemetery my youngest daughter will ever volunteer to visit with me. 

On a rare sunny afternoon, my two daughters and I spread out across the grounds to take pictures. I kept track of my younger daughter as she explored and soon, my oldest daughter was not in sight. I looked harder and saw her sitting on a grave. As I approached, I noticed her staring past me, a face frozen in apathy. I called to her and called to her. Finally, she looked up, surprised to see me there. 

We continued to walk the grounds when my younger daughter ran at me. “We need to leave. I want to go.” 

She ran to the car and climbed in to wait for us. 

Over lunch, she told us about a shadow figure that followed her around the cemetery. It filled her with cold terror. She didn’t want to give anymore details than that, so we let it go. But, after lunch, she said she would never visit a cemetery again. 

Once home, I saged all three of us before we entered the house. I hadn’t felt any darkness, but clearly, my kids had.

Visit with caution.

Perhaps the Most Beautiful Tombstone Ever

Perhaps the Most Beautiful Tombstone Ever

Jiménez mausoleum, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato. Photo by Waywuwei via Flickr.

From The Funeral Zone, here’s the story behind Jimenez Mausoleum. “This winding rainbow-like sculpture is the final resting place of José Alfredo Jiménez, a famous Mexican musician who wrote more than 1,000 songs in his lifetime. Considered an important figure in modern Mexican culture, Jiménez died in 1973, aged just 47.

His striking mausoleum, which is located in his hometown of Dolores Hidalgo, is made of two symbols of Mexican culture: the sombrero and the sarape, a blanket-like shawl. Mosaic tiles give the sarape its rainbow stripes, making Jiménez’s grave as colourful and vibrant as his music.”

“I had a lover’s quarrel with the world!”

“I had a lover’s quarrel with the world!”

Photo credit to TX Seabees, Find A Grave

The tombstone of poet, Robert Frost, reads, “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” (b. 1874 – d. 1963)

His grave resides in Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont.

How many of us are in the throes of a lover’s quarrel with the world? Well, persevere. Do what you must, but one day the world will win the fight. That’s the natural course of things, after all.


Fall City Cemetery

Fall City Cemetery

Native American Gravemarker

Just fifteen minutes from the iconic Snoqualmie Falls rests a cemetery on a hill. It is small, but well worth a visit!

After spending a morning exploring Twin Peaks shoot locations in nearby North Bend, Washington, with my college daughter, we drove to Fall City Cemetery to end a perfect day.

Truthfully, it is one of our favorite cemeteries of all time. We’d visited a few years ago and always meant to return when we had more time.

On this visit, though, we gravitated to a cemetery within the cemetery. A sacred burial ground to the Snoqualmie tribe, this place is aptly named, Snoqualmie Cemetery. 

Both my daughter and I felt this place in our bones. Like a blanket placed over you while you nap, this place settled over us; a sense of welcome and peace and beauty and love. We didn’t want to leave.

Once home, I did research. I learned that Grandma Moses rests here. She lived to be 130 years old! Also, Snoqualmie Chief Jerry Kanim and wife Jenny rest here and many other revered tribe members. 

If you go, look for the white kiosk – it looks like a tiny house. In it you will find a map and an index of burial sites by name. 


YA Series Gets Fresh Look, New Publisher!

YA Series Gets Fresh Look, New Publisher!

Whew. It’s been a year. 

After major contemplation, serious reeducation and a vat of elbow grease, I am happy to announce my YA novels have a new home, fresh covers and (in the case of my first novel) an exciting rewrite. 

I’ll celebrate with y’all later this year, but for now, without – well – any ado…my YA books. If you love Josie Jameson, I’d appreciate a review as well to boost my indie status on Amazon. 

As always, sending you all my big feels. – Jenn

p.s. Here are the links to them on Amazon.com!

Four Tombstones (Book 1)
Stone Heart (Book 2)
Dead Space?

Dead Space?


Overlook of Mountain View Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Laine Riley

Built for Mourners

Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California was established in 1863. Designed by renowned landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for his design of Central Park in New York, it was created as part of the Rural Cemetery Movement in which burial grounds had a park-like feel. Olmsted wanted Mountain View to be a sanctuary, not a park. He went so far as to design hedges that surround family plots to create tiny green ‘chapels’ for mourners. Cemeteries, Olmested believed, were for thoughtful contemplation, not play. You can read more about it in the East Bay Times.

Good thing he returned to New York soon after Mountain View Cemetery opened, because within years, the grounds became much more than a local cemetery.

Black Dahlia’s grave is a popular stop for Mountain View visitors. Photo courtesy of Laine Riley

A cemetery for the living

For the last century it has been a gathering place for the living. Yes, people still come to mourn, but others walk their dogs, learn to drive, picnic, party, sketch, attend movie viewings sponsored by the management, go on first dates, view Christmas lights and so much more. Olmsted would be shocked. But, as one commenter on an article titled, “Dogs running loose on graves draw ire at cemetery,” from East Bay Times, said, “Below ground – for the dead, Above ground – for the living.” It is a tug of war for this green space. 

When it was built, there were no public parks. None. Not anywhere in Oakland. Now there are two major parks in the northern part of the city, but none with the views and greenery that makes Mountain View special. No wonder people enjoy the grounds all year long. Here’s another reason visitors come…to enjoy the holiday light show! Really? Yes. The head of customer management for Mountain View had a desire to brighten up the long dark winters in Oakland, so more than a decade ago, she created the holiday light show. It includes three mourning trees, where family members place ornaments in honor of their dead loved ones. Its a fantastic idea.

One complaint has changed everything.

Lush, tranquil and historic. Photo courtesy of Laine Riley

But then someone complained. Looking to purchase a family plot, Mr. Lau visited Mountain View. He was irked by dogs running over the top of graves and kids playing baseball. He says in the article that he didn’t want dogs pooping on him after death. Well, hmm. Seems Mr. Lau has metaphorically pooped on the visitors to Mountain View. Because as a result of his complaints, Mountain View management has posted rules throughout the property on sandwich boards. It’s caused many to bristle. And like all issues, it is more complicated than it seems. Not black, not white, but gray.

Mountain View rules may not make sense to us, but they are there for a reason.

Nearby Chapel of the Chimes, photo courtesy of Laine Riley

In a future blog, I will take you to a Washington state cemetery that has become a popular place for Muslim burials. Muslims cannot touch dogs. In fact, if a dog brushes against their clothes, they must wash them multiple times in order to please God. So, now imagine that they are buried and later a dog is allowed to run across their gravesite? Awful, right? So the rules that Mountain View has about keeping dogs on leashes and off of graves is reasonable. We just need to take the time to understand why the rule is important.

If we walk in kindness, the living and dead can coexist at Mountain View. Obey the posted rules and enjoy the property accordingly. 

Nearby Chapel of the Chimes, photo courtesy of Laine Riley
Seattle’s Potter’s Field

Seattle’s Potter’s Field

The King County Hospital was located near the intersection of Corson Avenue and Lucile Street in Seattle’s Georgetown. Courtesy of HistoryLink.org.

Known by two names, King County Hospital Cemetery or Duwamish Poor Farm Cemetery, depending on your search engine, Seattle once had a Potter’s Field. When the cemetery was exhumed in 1912, there were 3,280 people buried here. A little less than 800 of those lost souls had known names. 

So what happened to their remains in 1912? Some say they were cremated and the ashes were scattered in the nearby Duwamish River. Others though claim a darker fate; that the dead were thrown in the river without cremation or ceremony. I don’t know the truth, but Seattle’s Georgetown district is known to be haunted. From the Georgetown Castle to Sarah the menacing red-head to the church full of restless souls, KOMO news has a great article on the area. Read it, if you have a few minutes.

Ingo Singh

One of the most remarkable graves at the cemetery was for Ingo Singh, a member of the Sikh religion. His grave was dated 1908, a decade before anyone else of the Sikh religion was known to settle in Seattle. Historians wish they knew his story. So do I. From Wing Luke Museum’s website:

“What brought him to Seattle? How long had he been here? On September 4, 1907, Bellingham witnessed the “Anti-Hindu Riots” with a mob of approximately 500 men attacking Sikhs and forcibly removing them from town. Could Ingo Singh have fled Bellingham and headed south, staying in Seattle rather than continuing on to California, like many others? Or maybe he was heading north from California when the Anti-Hindu Riots took place and decided to stay in Seattle instead?”
A photo of the area in the early 1900s courtesy of Seattle P-I.

This gritty district of Seattle was filled with taverns, houses of prostitution, and a perpetual fog of soot and sawdust due to local industry. If you want to see more photos of the area at the time, refer to Seattle P-I’s website here. 

The Duwamish Poor Farm Cemetery held over 3,000 souls, that’s 3,000 stories we will never hear. What we do know is that many died without any family to claim their bones. They mostly died destitute, and King County put them to rest. Or did they? 

Now, King County is doing something different with the remains of the unclaimed dead. NPR did a story about it. After cremation, a small boat with a handful of volunteers sets sail on the Puget Sound. Prayers and words of love are spoken to the wind and ashes are scattered over choppy waters. It’s beautiful, but I also feel sad about it. Maybe we should raise a collective monument on the shores of the Puget Sound? I’d like to leave them flowers.




Sister Bermudes Died on Christmas Day

Sister Bermudes Died on Christmas Day

Sister Vincentia Bermudes died on Christmas

On a recent visit to Mission Santa Barbara, I came upon the grave of Sister Vincentia Bermudes. She died on Christmas in 1863 at the age of twenty. The base of her grave was covered with coins and dollars, as was a nearby tree stump. Why?

I was curious. 

After a day of hard research, I was left with more questions than answers. Why did people leave coins? Were they hoping she would put in a good word with God on their behalf? Was there some urban legend associated with her grave? I still don’t know. In fact, I might never know. 

Though, I did find a few interesting facts about burial customs as I did research on Sister Vincentia Bermudes’ grave. 

Mission Santa Barbara fountain – over 200-years old

First, Mission Santa Barbara is haunted. I knew this from my own visits. From cold spots to weird EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) to feelings of unease, my daughters and I are convinced. If you want to watch someone’s ghost hunting journey here, I have a link for you.

I also learned that coins are typically left on the graves of soldiers. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, the coins signify a fellow soldier’s connection to their dead friend. A quarter is the most significant offering; it means they were with the soldier when they died. This tradition dates back centuries, possibly to fallen Roman soldiers. Fellow soldiers left coins to pay for their voyage over River Styx. 

Did you know?

People lay peanut butter and banana sandwiches on Elvis Presley’s grave – as well as teddy bears – because he loved both. Visitors leave fresh roses on Marilyn Monroe’s grave. And someone left a container with braids of human hair on the grave of a middle-aged man in Georgia. The author of that blog couldn’t find out the story behind that strange offering…but it is worth a read! 


I wish I could tell you the story of Sister Vincentia Bermudes; how she lived and died, but I came up empty. I hope the sentiment etched into her gravestone has come to fruition; “May she rest in Peace(sic).”




A Visit to Bayview Cemetery

A Visit to Bayview Cemetery

Named, ‘Angel Eyes,’ locals swear tears fall down her stone cheeks
The ‘Deathbed’ grave is both stunning and nerve-wracking!











Nothing draws me to a cemetery like dark rumors and two of them persist about graves at Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham, Washington. On my recent cemetery walk, I found the two rumor-riddled resting places I was seeking and much more.   

She grieves for the children buried all around her. What a moving tribute.

The statue of ‘Angel Eyes’ is simple to find. The locals allege that she cries real tears. I visited her mid-day and found the carving to be beautiful and found it curious that black tracks seemed to start at her tear ducts and run down her face. They were mostly likely due to our nasty Pacific Northwest weather.

Then, though it took me longer to find, I discovered the ‘Deathbed’ grave. Set within a carpet of fall leaves, it seemed to lovely a spot to cause the death of anyone. Here’s the story. According to locals, if you lie above the grave and say the name on the grave three times, you will die in three days. I didn’t lie on the grave. That felt disrespectful. But, I did get goosebumps when I came close. 

I continued to walk the cemetery and near the top of the hill I found the most beautiful sculpture. The weeping woman sits in the center of the children’s cemetery and embodies everything we feel at the loss of a child. A visual poem, she is beautiful and heartbreaking.

Please get out there and visit a cemetery soon and let me know what you discover. 

As always, I love you and hope you have a wonderful week. J


If you still want to know more about this amazing location, I found a fantastic blog about it when I was trying to research Edmund Gaudette for reader, Jan. Enjoy!