Seattle, King County, Washington
The Mess Cemetery is located off Frager Road in South King County, Washington. The property of Joe Gunter surrounds the area. Although the area is now largely industrial, the memory of some of the early pioneers from this area lives on in this small abandoned burial ground. The cemetery was started in 1878 when a diptheria epidemic claimed the lives of the two small daughters of Julius and Anna Mess. Anna, three years and Wilhemine A., two years, died in June and July of that year. A lovely spot, on the Mess farm, southwest of the family home, on a hill with a natural terrace, and a lovely view of the valley was chosen for their burial. In time, others from the area asked to bury their loved ones in the same place. So, the Mess family had the grounds set aside for this purpose and taxed as such. It was managed by a board of directors. It is believed as many as fifty graves are located in the cemetery, although a plot map can not be found and many of the markers have long ago disappeared. There were many shingle type markers, with names and dates, some of which could still be found in the 1940's. But time, nature, and cattle have obliererated them. In the beginning, a white picket fence with a gate surrounded the area. When that had to be renewed there was a barbed wire fence and then more barbed wire fences. Each time it was replaced, however, a smaller portion was fenced, until only the section with large stones was included. The last burial was that of Mrs. Anna Mess in 1910. The cemetery was bequeathed to the White River Historical Society under the will of Mrs. Walter Mess, who died June 23, 1966. The following tombstone inscriptions were obtained from the records of the Tukwila Historical Society and those of Don Vincent and Arthur Friske, which are on file at the Seattle Public Library. These records were transcribed during the mid 1960's.
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