Preservation Of Historic Cemetery

In the spring of 2017, I partnered with the Medical Lake Cemetery Association to have the Medical Lake and Jerue Cemetery placed on the state historic register. I submitted the package in the fall of 2017 to the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The package came back corrected with a request for my input on additional revisions. I sent back my ideas and the final nomination package went forward to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. This nomination package was important to the Medical Lake Cemetery Association because a listing on the state register would bring with it historic protections for the 1,208 graves on the property.

The historic Medical Lake Cemetery contains sixty-two veteran interments: 23 from the American Civil War (all Federal soldiers), World War One, World War Two, the Korean, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf Wars. The earliest headstone predates the formation of the cemetery and dates to 1864 (the burial of Frederick M. Boissonnault). It also contains the remains of the cities original booster Stanley Hallett. 

The Jerue Cemetery (established separate from the Medical Lake Cemetery, now owned and overseen by the Medical Lake Cemetery Association) has 101 known graves. The oldest burial is from 1924 (the burial of “Baby” Dennis – July 12, 1924). Based on an analysis of death dates, there is a high number of burials from 1930 (40%), with many of which likely have a connection to the County Infirmary in Spangle. The newest burial is from 2010, Mrs. Jospehine “Jo” Marinaro O’Donnell, whom was buried beside her husband.

Nomination Package here


In February of 2018, I received a letter inviting me to attend the review meeting to be held in early March in Seattle. The President of the Medical Lake Cemetery Association was unable to attend the meeting but I went. The Council voted unanimously (8:0) to add the cemetery to the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places. 

A few days later the local newspaper ran an article about the project. Spokesmen Review Article here.

In May of 2018, the Jonas Babcock chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, located in Spokane Washington, presented me with a certificate for “Outstanding Work in American Histroy.”

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