a “spirited” tour in old Tacoma

I just adore old cemeteries.

And Tacoma has hers, dating back to the early 1800's. Lying in peace are some of the town’s earliest significant figures.

Or perhaps they’re not resting in peace. It is Tacoma after all, a blue-collar town of rawness, grit, color, dramatic cycles of boom and bust and rugged metamorphosis. No quaint suburban oasis here.

I've the pleasure of bumping into the manager, an older gent with a doughy belly, earthy resonant voice, a native who regales me with tale after riveting tale about local history.

He's like a salty reporter stepped out of the pages of yore. Put a cigar in his hand, a glass of whiskey on the table and we might well be soulmates. I would’ve stayed all afternoon picking his brain were it not for the arrival of a customer in need of his care.

I take a stroll, starting in the founding quarters:

The original entrance measures 7 feet wide, sufficient for the passage of horse-drawn carriages:

Interesting how the peach fuzz of tender grass fleshes out just the lettering:

Ms. Pogue, like many, seemingly wished to be interred as close to a tree as possible. She was a tree-hugger before the word was imbued with rabid environmentalism and political correctness.

Gone but not forgotten. How true is that, I wonder; how true can it be lo the hundred years later:

Cool marker from 1891. The lower writing's weathering renders it illegible; a rubbing might reveal another time:

A gravestone resembling a tree trunk:

The cement scroll reveals name, date of birth, not death, only his age:

… and the simple inscription: Here rests a woodman of the world

Reckon I would've like this woodman Nash.

Unadorned, unrevealing save for a simple emblem. I like his style:

Whoops, an accident or intentional? Someone with a sense of humor?

I arrive at a short tower marker of a family of European origin. Three infants:

Many hopes are buried here. I’d imagine so.

A part of me wants to pound on the walls shouting “Reveal yourself! Talk to me!” The bigger part feels kinda creeped out and overwhelmingly constricted and suffocated. Taking the photos is an act of will. I do so and hasten onward. Sealed shut for all eternity? No way on Earth or anywhere else could I be so interred!


Seems certain faeries abound and have haven in a crevice; I leave a pint-sized honoring greeting:


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