Seattle’s Comet Lodge Cemetery is a disappearing piece of history, itself having been buried by time, greed, and bureaucracy. Today, most observers pass by the cemetery without even recognizing the hallowed ground.
The cemetery was created in the 1800s, initially as a sacred burial ground for the area’s native Duwamish Nation. By the 1880s, the graveyard was largely taken over by the white settlers who had moved to the area some 30 years prior. The cemetery fell into disuse by the 1930s and sat neglected for decades.
In 1987 the story of the site took a tragic turn. The city of Seattle decided to gut the area, laying waste to many of the headstones and running sewage pipes underground for the oncoming new residences. Headstones were bulldozed, moved, broken, or stolen. A historic burial area for young children on the site has been built over with 11 homes. A large portion of the cemetery has been designated by the city as a neighborhood dog run.
Today, the green fields of the area are spotted with misplaced graves marking nothing but lost history, and even they are often hidden by the myriad wispy tree branches that overhang the area. But while the graveyard slowly fades away, there are still some in the city who are working to preserve its history—to keep, at least, its story alive.