After being shutout by COVID-19 last year, the Weeks’ Funeral Homes in Enumclaw and Buckley will once again host their annual History Walks this Memorial Day weekend.
The Pioneer History Walk started several years ago as a way to keep alive the stories of the original settlers and founders of the Plateau. It’s a collaboration between the Funeral Home, which manages the Buckley Cemetery, and the Foothills Historical Society based in Buckley. The Funeral Home also operates a similar walk in Enumclaw.
Weeks Funeral Home community outreach liaison Charmaine Jovanovich-Miller said the event is a chance to learn about the characters who make up many of the permanent residents at the Buckley and Enumclaw cemeteries.
Those characters include sheriffs, civil war soldiers, movie stars and mayors. Jovanovich-Miller said one of the people buried in Buckley is believed to have been a member of one of the Honor Guards which escorted Abraham Lincoln’s remains home after the 16th President’s assassination.
Their grave sites will be adorned with stories and photos of their lives.
“It’s a feel-good time to remember that our freedom costs a lot of veterans,” Jovanovich-Miller said. “The pioneers also gave their lives to the city we love. It’s important not to put them in front of or even on the same level (as veterans), but to take the time to acknowledge their memory as well.”
The tours are self-paced, Jovanovich-Miller said, and you can walk, bring your dog, ride your bike or drive through in a car. They’ve even had a pony-drawn cart roll through one year.
Local VFW, Rifle Team, Boy Scouts and Color Guards will also attend and present on Memorial Day morning at both cemeteries. They will present at 9:30 a.m. at Enumclaw. The scouts will place flags at the grave sites of local veterans.
Events like the History Walks are important, Jovanovich-Miller said, because you don’t automatically know a town when you move there. Someone has to bear the responsibility of its history for generations to come.
“When you have an opportunity to know really rich stories, I think you should tell them,” she said. “And we are sort of a guardian of those stories.”
The self-guided tours take place on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Buckley Cemetery and the Enumclaw Evergreen Memorial Park.