The book, The Historical Cemeteries of Roslyn, was written by Roslyn resident Karyne Ware. It has been integral in providing content for this website. The following is a glance into the making of this great resource for anyone researching the Roslyn Cemeteries and the history of the people resting there. (Read the entire publication, The Historical Cemeteries of Roslyn, by Karyne Ware, free online here. Or, get a CD with the full eBook from “The Friends of the Roslyn Library Gift Shop” Order form is here.)
“Like so many Roslyn citizens whom have settled here, Karyne Ware was attracted to Roslyn’s cultural heritage. Joining the Roslyn Kiwanis Club gave Karyne a perspective on Roslyn and the partnership the Kiwanians had developed with the Local History Class cemetery restoration project, begun c. 1968. In time, Karyne proposed to the Kiwanians an extensive research project on all the Roslyn Cemeteries. Nothing had been attempted on this scale before. The idea was endorsed and funding by the Kiwanis Club. Karyne spent several years along with her postal job gathering materials which culminated into (this) manuscript. New findings on lodge histories were integrated into the Local History program at the high school. Upon completion of the research, Karyne gave the Local History class permission to publish her lodge histories. Her request did not occur as the Local History program ended in 1996….Like so many citizens in Roslyn, Karyn’s legacy is passed on to the next generation in hopes they will continue the inheritance that the Roslyn Cemeteries represent.”
Fred Krueger, former history teacher at Cle Elum Roslyn High School & local historian
“Karyne donated all of the rights to The Historical Cemeteries of Roslyn Washington to the Friends of the Roslyn Library in May of 2005 to help raise money to improve the library’s local history collection. Karyne passed away on October 3, 2015.”
Erin Krake, Librarian at the Roslyn Library
In Karyne’s own words
(excerpt from The Historical Cemeteries of Roslyn):
The Roslyn Cemeteries
by Karyne Strom Ware [KSW] – March 28, 2005
I came to Kittitas County in September of 1986. My job as U.S. Postmaster (of South Cle Elum) brought me here from Skagit County (WA). The Roslyn house, where I still reside, found me and on December 16, 1986 I moved in.
The following year, Kiwanis, International – which had, from its founding, been a men-only organization, began to welcome women as members. I was the first woman to join the Roslyn Kiwanis Club. (In 2003 the Roslyn Kiwanis disbanded and merged with the Cle Elum Kiwanis Club.) One of the many community service projects the club was involved with was a joint effort with the high school local history class to clean up and try to restore some of the cemeteries in the Roslyn Cemetery complex.
My part in this effort was to research historical information about these cemeteries. For over three years I researched available records, talked to local people, collected any pertinent news articles that came my way and trekked through the hilly 26 acres of the cemetery complex. Originally the articles I wrote regarding this project were just for our Kiwanis monthly newsletter. Then they were published in the Northern Kittitas County (NKC) Tribune in Cle Elum. I had intended, when I had completed all of the cemeteries to put it in booklet form so the Kiwanis Club could sell it to add to the funds used for cemetery work. However, I burned out before I completed the project. Into the third year I realized that I knew more people buried in the cemetery than I did people who were still alive, and I needed to “get a life.”
What follows is a compilation of information from what I wrote, took pictures of and gleaned from other sources like news articles and from the internet. A note about most of the pictures. They were taken with a digital camera from October 2004 through March of 2005. Dates are given for the pictures in order to show the weather conditions of this winter. The lack of snow is appalling for those of us living here in Roslyn – and is evident in the pictures. In a normal winter those pictures wouldn’t have been possible as deep snow would have covered the cemeteries.
Many of the people I interviewed for the first articles I wrote are now buried in one of the Roslyn cemeteries. Some of them had old lodge books and pictures to help with their stories. Others just had memories. A funny thing about oral histories. The human memory is fallible, so without actual documentation, some of the stories are “as remembered by”. Articles appear exactly as they were originally written, except that, for some, updates have been inserted with new material.
There was a wide gap from the time I began this project – 1987, until now, early 2005. As I was putting my collection of cemetery “stuff” together I found that three of the articles I wrote in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s were missing. From the museum to the library and to the Tribune archives, I searched. They were just not to be found. As many of the people I talked to are now dead, I have written what I remember and what I can still find about those cemeteries. I have also received help from many local people, again sharing their memories. Thanks to the NKC Tribune, Ellensburg Record, Seattle P.I. and Mr. Richard Major of the Croation Fraternal Union of America for permission to reprint their work. Also thanks to all who shared their time and stories for this project. Special thanks to Nick Henderson, Jim Enrico, Maria Enrico Fischer, Sam Talerico and M.J. “Squeak” Giaudrone.They provided information that I may not have otherwise obtained.
Because of the time gap of some of the articles and also because some of the same information was used for brochures and other publications, you will find duplication of information and statements in the following articles. Once I wrote something I liked, I tended to re-use it in other places in later years … There are, and always will be, ongoing changes. For instance, a new Roslyn City Cemetery Ordinance governing the cemeteries was passed by the City Council on March 22, 2005. That, the 1977 and 1999 ordinances are included at the end of this section.
In my pursuit of information regarding the cemeteries, I learned things I never knew. For instance, early on I came across a very small stone with just the initials, D. M G. This is located in the far upper east corner of the Old City Cemetery, near the fence of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. I was very perplexed about this. Why would a marker be put up with only the initials? Every time I was in that section of the cemetery complex I would go over to say hello to D. Mc G .
One day I saw Nick Henderson doing work in the Masonic Cemetery across the road. Nick was a funeral director by profession, a representative for the Tacoma Monument Company, an installer of the monuments and a grave digger. He is also a Mason, and as such helps in the upkeep of that cemetery. I called him over to look at D. Mc G’s stone and asked – “why”?
“Oh, that’s a footstone,” Nick told me. Then he pointed out that there are many in the Roslyn cemeteries. Sometimes a footstone was put in place in the burial plot with a family plan later on to add the more expensive headstone. At times a family just never had the funds to complete the memorial. More often, though, both the head and foot stones were put in place, only to have one or the other fall to vandals.
There is little evidence of a headstone in D. Mc G’s place – except for a barely perceived mounding – but the footstone remains. And I still stop by and say hello when I am near it. [KSW – 2005]
Read the entire publication, The Historical Cemeteries of Roslyn, by Karyne Ware, free online here. Or, get a CD with the full eBook from “The Friends of the Roslyn Library Gift Shop” (Order form is here.)