oakwood hill cemetery (tacoma, wa)
Cemetery: Oakwood Hill (Tacoma)


Oakwood Hill, at 8-10 acres, shares ground with the much larger and better maintained but less interesting Tacoma Cemetery, as well as a long, skinny park, South Park. True to its name it covers the slope of a hill and is in turn covered with oaks. It has an unusually large collection of old military stones, an inordinate number of which bear women’s names. There are a fair number of other military stone scattered throughout the cemetery.

Oakwood Hill also sports a modest new Russian section with a field of black granite stones adorned with laser etchings of the deceased, as is their wont. Needless-to-say, it’s the liveliest sector of the graveyard. But they sure are stubborn about writing their inscriptions in Russian. Pity their poor grandchildren.

The cemetery also harbors one of the more touching epitaphs I’ve run across, that for young Robert Garretson, who died in 1911 at the age of two:

I fold him close —
The child that’s left to me.
My little lad who died.

I wonder about the choice of the word “fold,” but it adds an element of mystery or age to it (or should I say a certain j’ne sais quoi?).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the monument to the Culinary Workers Local Union No. 61. adorned with coffee cup grave offerings. Let’s give it up for the cooks. Hear! Hear!


Entrance off Lawrence St., a dozen or so blocks west of I-5. Turn north onto Lawrence from S. 56th St., for which there is an I-5 exit. Head west from the freeway. Cemetery down Lawrence two blocks.
30 photos · 454 views