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Catalog Number WF 0561
Caption Fern HIll Cemetery
Description This is Henry and Elizabeth White's plot at Fern Hill Cemetery, marked by a large obelisk. Henry White was well-known in the county as the probate judge. In 1883 he and his family moved to the west side of Fidalgo Bay where they build a new home and dock. (See WF 0223). The farm on south Fidalgo Bay remained in the family's possession into the 1900s. This photograph depicts what pioneer cemeteries of the late-1800s looked like at that time; fences set apart family plots which were individually maintained by their respective owners. The cemetery, located at 7427 State Route 20, was established in 1892. It replaced the closed "Cemetery Hill", established in Anacortes c. 1881 by Elbridge Sibley. Sibley had filed a plat for that cemetery (Skagit County Plat # 9) in 1887, but the 9-21-1889, ANACORTES PROGRESS reported Sibley had "sold to William Gray for $50.00 the acre of land donated by former some years ago for graveyard purposes." The graveyard, located in rear of present-day high school, was then formally closed. With the 1890 Anacortes boom, a new cemetery was needed. The 7-16-1891, ANACORTES AMERICAN reported, "Mayor Hogan called attention to the fact that there is no place in which a person could be buried, the owners of the present cemetery having forbidden further used of their property. A committee appointed to investigate the matter." The city called for bids on land for a new cemetery and Susan Howard offered forty acres of her land on Fern Hill. Howard, a widow, had come to Fidalgo in January 1872 to live near her sister Almina Griffin. Also see WF 2565. Howard's son Ernest recorded his mother's sale of the land in his diary; on 2-29-1892, "Went to town. Put in my bid for City Cemetery. Mothers (sic) land on the hill. Offered it for $75.00 an acre cash or $78.00 city warrants. 3-1-1892, Went with two members of the council to look at land I offered for cemetery. 7-25-1892, Mother made deed to M. Cody for 10 acres to be used as a cemetery." The 7-28-1892, ANACORTES AMERICAN reported, "M. S. Cody has laid out some land at the head of the bay for cemetery purposes, platting 40 acres into 16 blocks which are subdivided into lots of the average size of 15 x 20 feet. There are reserves for parks, monuments, fountains, etc. The land slopes gently from the center and is well drained." Susan Howard died on 4-14-1902 and is buried at Fern Hill. The cemetery fell into disrepair during the first half of the 1900s as families were responsible for its maintenance, and many Fidalgo Island residents exhumed their dead from Fern Hill for burial at the Deutsch (Grandview Cemetery) in Anacortes. Fern Hill became Skagit County Cemetery District No. 2 in the late 1950s, early 1960s. Taxes then paid for the cemetery's maintenance.
Date 1900 c.
Photographer Unknown
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Photograph
Place - Fidalgo Island
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Fidalgo Island, WA
Search Terms Fern Hill Cemetery
Cemetery Hill
Grandview Cemetery
Skagit Country Cemetery District No. 2
Object Name Print, Photographic