St. Anne students meet Northwest history at local cemetery

Twenty-four St. Anne eighth-graders discovered recently that the local history they have studied is permanently memorialized in gravesites at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery atop Queen Anne Hill. Pam Sturgeon, St. Anne eighth-grade teacher, arranged with Isabel Egglin, Queen Anne Historical Society school and community liaison, to give the class a tour of the historical cemetery at Seventh Ave. W. and W. Raye St. in order to put some reality into their studies.

On a cool, damp Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, the students, some parents and four historical society guides walked the cemetery grounds telling stories of Northwest figures. One of these was Nathan Eckstein, who at age 15 left his home in Bavaria to come to America, ending up in Seattle; here he was eventually named "Seattle's Most Useful Citizen," chaired the Seattle School Board and today has a school named after him.

Northwest tragedies were marked in stone with stories of the Valencia shipwreck in 1906 off Vancouver Island, resulting in 136 deaths; the Wellington railroad avalanche of 1910 at Stevens Pass; and the Everett Massacre of 1916. The students spoke of what they had learned in their own studies, shyly at first and then with increasing confidence. The Historical Society's goal, according to Egglin, "was to help the students see that today's community is the result of the lives of many people like themselves, that we all are creating history."

The Queen Anne Historical Society gives an annual public tour of the cemetery in June, thanks to the support of Mt. Pleasant owners Bill and Loretta Edwards. For information on future tours, see

[[In-content Ad]]