Looking Back at Lynnwood: Local pioneers featured as part of Thursday Edmonds cemetery walk

Lynnwood Today is pleased to present this monthly column on Lynnwood history, written by a long-time Lynnwood resident and local historian.

Take a walk back in time with a guided tour of the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery and Columbarium, a cemetery originally established circa 1892.
Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: 15th Street Southwest and 100th Avenue West, Edmond (north of the Westgate Shopping Center QFC).

Join Edmonds Cemetery board members and “friends of the cemetery” dressed in period costumes and acting as “Ghosts.” They will tell a few tales of some of the historic figures who were pioneers of South Snohomish County (Edmonds, Alderwood Manor, Meadowdale, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace) and even a Richmond Beach pioneer. Glimpse into the history of this area and some of the people who made that history.

Actor John Hartquist will portray the ghost of George Brackett, Edmonds’ founder and its first mayor.

Mary Langrill burial spotI will play the part of Mary (Knott) Langrill, widow, laundress, and mother of six girls. Mary led a courageous life.

Six descendants of Christopher Columbus Cook and his wife Phoebe will share some tales of their great-great grandparents.

For those who cannot attend and would like to take a self-guided tour, a map brochure is available in a container outside the cemetery office. For further information, call 425-776-1543.

Edmonds Memorial Cemetery is a historic cemetery. Every grave or marker has a story to tell.

After receiving a patent for his 160-acre homestead south of Edmonds in 1892, East Coast native Thomas H. White gave a portion of his land to the town of Edmonds for use as a community burial ground. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), an association responsible for the establishment of so many of our country’s cemeteries, developed and opened the land as an official cemetery in 1894.

In December 1910, having moved to Cedar Valley several miles east of Edmonds, and while working in the woods near Halls Lake, the 49-year-old White was killed in a logging accident. He is buried at the cemetery along with his daughter and a grandson. Just like Thomas White, many of those buried in the cemetery were pioneers of the land we now know as Lynnwood.

Through the years, the old cemetery changed ownership several times and eventually it became a neglected eyesore. However, Edmonds real estate man Lawrence E. (Larry) Hubbard (who came from a pioneer family himself) before his death in 1982 bought the rundown cemetery. In his will, he left it to the City of Edmonds with a provision for the establishment of a trust fund. Since that time the cemetery has become a well-maintained and beautiful addition to the city.

— By Betty Lou Gaeng

Gaeng on the roof of the Lynnwood Convention Center.
Gaeng on the roof of the Lynnwood Convention Center.

An 80-year resident of Lynnwood, Betty Lou Gaeng is a genealogist, historian, researcher and writer who is active in volunteer work for Lynnwood’s Heritage Park Partners Advisory Committee and the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association at Heritage Park. She is also a member of the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations (LOSCHO) and the South County Historical Society and Museum.  Gaeng is the author of two books: “Etched in Stone,” which is the history of the Edmonds Museum memorial monument, and “Chirouse” about a Catholic missionary priest who came from France to Washington Territory in 1847 and became a father figure and friend to the Puget Sound area’s Native people.




  1. This sounds awesome! The kind of stuff I do on vacation in another city. I would love to do this in my city, but the timing (Thursday at 1pm) isn’t condusive to us 9-5 M-F working folks. I’m hoping another can be done on a weekend in the future? I’d love to do this and drag my kids along. They should know a little something about the history of their community.

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