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An aerial photograph of a large lawn with concrete paths, full of graves and dotted with evergreen trees. A busy road runs to the left, and skyscrapers and a lake are visible in the distance.
Lake View Cemetery.
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Seattle’s most notable cemeteries

Pay a visit to some departed neighbors

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Lake View Cemetery.
| Shutterstock

Cemeteries: We pass by them almost every day. In some cases, we may even walk through them without even knowing that graves lie beneath our feet.

But cemeteries don’t just provide a link to the people who have lived here before us; they provide a glimpse into the history of Seattle itself. How did the cemeteries come to be? Why were they built where they were built? Which cemeteries are still standing, and which aren’t? What happens when Seattle outgrows its allotted cemetery space, like we did in the 1880s?

Let's take a look at some of the Seattle-area's most notable cemeteries—whether they have an exciting backstory, a deep history, or just some high-profile graves—and see what we can learn. You may never see the Moore Theater the same way again.

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1. Lake View Cemetery

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1554 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 322-1582
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Lake View was founded in 1873 as the Seattle Masonic Cemetery, and you could spend a whole day perusing the notable gravestones here, which include Princess Angeline, John W. Nordstrom, members of the Denny Party, "Doc" Maynard, Thomas Mercer, and, of course, Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon Lee. The cemetery also contains the Nisei War Memorial Monument, dedicated in 1949 to Japanese American veterans, some of whom are buried there.

2. Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery

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1200 E Howe St.
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 684-4075
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Established in 1895 by Seattle's five Grand Army of the Republic posts, it contains 526 graves and a monument memorialize Union veterans of the Civil War. A small green space lies adjacent to the memorial site.

3. Calvary Cemetery

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5041 35th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105

This Roman Catholic cemetery is a 40-acre square that's home to 40,000 souls, including William Piggott, founder of PACCAR; Hec Edmundson, basketball and track coach at the University of Washington; and Dave Beck, former president of the Teamsters.

4. Evergreen Washelli Cemetery

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11111 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

At roughly 144 acres, Evergreen is the largest cemetery in Seattle. It's home to many notable monuments, including the "Doughboy" statue to commemorate the Seattle reunion of the 91st Division, a 16-foot high totem pole, and the Washelli columbarium.

The cemetery was founded by city founders David Denny and Louisa Boren after being forced to move the body of their infant child—a second time. In early Seattle, shifting city planning meant moving burial sites, and rather than join the rush of moving dead, they turned their sights to a large plot of land they owned to the north of the city. Eventually, other families started burying their dead there, and it officially became a cemetery.

5. Greenwood Memorial Park

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3rd St.
Renton, WA

More than 14,000 people come to this cemetery every year to visit Jimi Hendrix's memorial. The site features a nearly 30-foot-high granite dome supported by three pearl-gray columns trimmed in rainbow marble.

6. Suquamish Cemetery

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7076 Northeast South Street
Suquamish, WA 98392

Seattle is named for Chief Sealth of the Suquamish, whose final resting place is the tribal cemetery in Suquamish Village on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. It's flanked by two cedar poles portraying his life story.

7. Mount Pleasant Cementery

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700 W Raye St
Seattle, WA 98119

Among the notable persons buried at Mount Pleasant are pioneers William and Sarah Bell. Other burials include the labor martyrs of the Everett Massacre of November 5, 1916, black social activist Bertha Pitts Campbell, the Filipino author Carlos Bulosan, Jewish Benevolent Society founder Elizabeth Cooper-Levi, and a few ashes of the renowned I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) songwriter Joe Hill.

8. Comet Lodge Cemetery

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Comet Lodge in Beacon Hill was founded in 1881 on a site that was already a burial ground for the Duwamish people. It’s the final resting place for a number of early residents, some of whom were influential in the development of the city. It fell into disuse and disrepair after the 1930s, and some parts have been demolished to make way for homes and park land—including, reportedly, a children’s burial area—so you never know whose grave you’re walking over.

9. Denny Hotel Cemetery

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Stewart Street & 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

It hasn’t visibly been a cemetery in quite some time, but in the 1850s it was the first cemetery for white settlers in Seattle. A hotel called the Denny Hotel was built over around Second and Stewart between 1888 and 1903—giving it a retroactive name—but was demolished and caught fire during the Denny Regrade just three years later in 1906. Developer James A. Moore was behind the hotel, and, apparently undeterred from building atop a former cemetery, built the Moore Theater in the same area in 1907.

Its history as a cemetery came to light in 1898, when construction workers found two American Indian graves, prompting a flood of people to loot the graves with sticks. Seattle founder Arthur Denny confirmed to the Seattle PI that the site had been used as a graveyard before the city started moving graves to what’s now Denny Park (and then Lake View), but acknowledged that a few graves had probably been missed during the process. So who knows who’s still lurking beneath the Belltown Self Storage?

1. Lake View Cemetery

1554 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Lake View was founded in 1873 as the Seattle Masonic Cemetery, and you could spend a whole day perusing the notable gravestones here, which include Princess Angeline, John W. Nordstrom, members of the Denny Party, "Doc" Maynard, Thomas Mercer, and, of course, Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon Lee. The cemetery also contains the Nisei War Memorial Monument, dedicated in 1949 to Japanese American veterans, some of whom are buried there.

1554 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

2. Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery

1200 E Howe St., Seattle, WA 98102

Established in 1895 by Seattle's five Grand Army of the Republic posts, it contains 526 graves and a monument memorialize Union veterans of the Civil War. A small green space lies adjacent to the memorial site.

1200 E Howe St.
Seattle, WA 98102

3. Calvary Cemetery

5041 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

This Roman Catholic cemetery is a 40-acre square that's home to 40,000 souls, including William Piggott, founder of PACCAR; Hec Edmundson, basketball and track coach at the University of Washington; and Dave Beck, former president of the Teamsters.

5041 35th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105

4. Evergreen Washelli Cemetery

11111 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133

At roughly 144 acres, Evergreen is the largest cemetery in Seattle. It's home to many notable monuments, including the "Doughboy" statue to commemorate the Seattle reunion of the 91st Division, a 16-foot high totem pole, and the Washelli columbarium.

The cemetery was founded by city founders David Denny and Louisa Boren after being forced to move the body of their infant child—a second time. In early Seattle, shifting city planning meant moving burial sites, and rather than join the rush of moving dead, they turned their sights to a large plot of land they owned to the north of the city. Eventually, other families started burying their dead there, and it officially became a cemetery.

11111 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

5. Greenwood Memorial Park

3rd St., Renton, WA

More than 14,000 people come to this cemetery every year to visit Jimi Hendrix's memorial. The site features a nearly 30-foot-high granite dome supported by three pearl-gray columns trimmed in rainbow marble.

3rd St.
Renton, WA

6. Suquamish Cemetery

7076 Northeast South Street, Suquamish, WA 98392

Seattle is named for Chief Sealth of the Suquamish, whose final resting place is the tribal cemetery in Suquamish Village on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. It's flanked by two cedar poles portraying his life story.

7076 Northeast South Street
Suquamish, WA 98392

7. Mount Pleasant Cementery

700 W Raye St, Seattle, WA 98119

Among the notable persons buried at Mount Pleasant are pioneers William and Sarah Bell. Other burials include the labor martyrs of the Everett Massacre of November 5, 1916, black social activist Bertha Pitts Campbell, the Filipino author Carlos Bulosan, Jewish Benevolent Society founder Elizabeth Cooper-Levi, and a few ashes of the renowned I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) songwriter Joe Hill.

700 W Raye St
Seattle, WA 98119

8. Comet Lodge Cemetery

Seattle, WA 98108

Comet Lodge in Beacon Hill was founded in 1881 on a site that was already a burial ground for the Duwamish people. It’s the final resting place for a number of early residents, some of whom were influential in the development of the city. It fell into disuse and disrepair after the 1930s, and some parts have been demolished to make way for homes and park land—including, reportedly, a children’s burial area—so you never know whose grave you’re walking over.

9. Denny Hotel Cemetery

Stewart Street & 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

It hasn’t visibly been a cemetery in quite some time, but in the 1850s it was the first cemetery for white settlers in Seattle. A hotel called the Denny Hotel was built over around Second and Stewart between 1888 and 1903—giving it a retroactive name—but was demolished and caught fire during the Denny Regrade just three years later in 1906. Developer James A. Moore was behind the hotel, and, apparently undeterred from building atop a former cemetery, built the Moore Theater in the same area in 1907.

Its history as a cemetery came to light in 1898, when construction workers found two American Indian graves, prompting a flood of people to loot the graves with sticks. Seattle founder Arthur Denny confirmed to the Seattle PI that the site had been used as a graveyard before the city started moving graves to what’s now Denny Park (and then Lake View), but acknowledged that a few graves had probably been missed during the process. So who knows who’s still lurking beneath the Belltown Self Storage?

Stewart Street & 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101