By Marianne Lincoln
SPANAWAY — On Wednesday, May 26, youth from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Congregations in Spanaway, Elk Plain, Rainier View and Firgrove came to Spanaway to tidy up the pioneer cemetery. Fifty eight kids from 10 to 18 and twenty adults assisted with picking up branches, trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, weed whacking and scrubbing old grave markers of moss.
One of the highlights is pumping water from the old hand pump well. The process takes at least two kids as the pumping takes two hands and when the water comes out, it gushes so hard it will knock your bucket over if someone isn’t holding it.
After most of the cleanup, Spanaway Historical Society President Boojee Bowman gave a brief history of the cemetery started by two brothers. One side is Lutheran, the other Catholic and non-Lutherans. She also pointed out several other significant pioneers including the first African American resident of Spanaway. Her lesson was followed by words of encouragement by President Manwaring, a member of the Graham Stake Presidency, to the adolescents in the group.
As always, behind the scenes was Loretta Fulk, who is a magnificent organizer with the church. Her efforts have put on many community based events like this and an interfaith concert in December. We are looking forward to having those gatherings again in the near future.
The final product of the days efforts was a tidy cemetery, just in time to honor those who gave their lives for our country on Memorial Day weekend.
Sadly, closures of public events still exist from the pandemic and most of our usual Memorial Day weekend events honoring the soldiers have again been cancelled. Most cemeteries will still place flags on Veteran’s graves, a time honored tradition.
More photos of the youth working on the cemetery grounds are on the Pierce Prairie Post Facebook page in an album called Old Spanaway Cemetery cleanup.
Thank you to all the 78 participants, more than I can name. We appreciate your hard work. The old cemetery looks great!