Thursday, August 25, 2016

Snohomish Interlude

Rumors abound that the blogger fell into a Blog Hole, something like a black hole, and equally difficult to explain. Actually, I've been roaming the Pacific Northwest -- specifically the area from Seattle, north to Mt. Baker, east through North Cascades National Park, and south to Wenatchee on the Columbia. I have not seen Sasquatch, but have seen a wingless Boeing 737 fuselage on a flatbed rail car in Wenatchee on its way to the the Boeing assembly plant at Everett.

Genealogy is to blame for this trip.  The trip began with two fantastic days at the Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington, Washington. This is the third annual conference put on by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society. The headliners were Blaine Bettinger and Lisa Louise Cook. What a treat! There was an outstanding complement of other speakers, but I didn't get to hear them because I was busy giving four presentations myself.

After the conference closed on Saturday, I did attempt a small genealogy excursion. My wife's grandmother's sister drifted from Minnesota to Snohomish County, Washington. I don't know much about her life, but she died in Snohomish County in 1969.  From, I knew that she was buried in the G.A.R. Cemetery just outside the town of Snohomish. Thinking a G.A.R. cemetery in Washington was probably a small, walkable cemetery, I expected to easily find the grave. But, the cemetery was much larger than expected and it was a hot dry day. The grass burned to a crisp. The sun glared off the flat grave markers. The sections were not visibly numbered. The office was closed. There was no cemetery map. I did not find Kate Jackson or her husband, Samuel.

Monday took us north to Lynden, an area where Dutch immigrants first arrived in the late 1800s. Some Dutch folk from Siouxland (NW Iowa and adjoining parts of Minnesota and South Dakota) sought greener pastures in Whatcom County in the early 1900s. Among them was John Zylstra and his wife, Marie Zorgdrager. Marie was my Dad's cousin. I have misty memories of visiting their farm east of Lynden, near Sumas, in 1962 -- a trip centered on the Seattle World's Fair. John and Marie had five children, the youngest of them twin daughters who were just a year older than me. It dawns on me now that they were 2nd cousins!

I know nothing of what happened to the twins, but John died in 1990 and Marie in 1993. They are buried in a small cemetery at Nooksack, in the shadow of the Cascades. This gravestone I found.

I paid my respects -- although I'm not sure what that phrase means. I think it means I remembered them, however vaguely. I did not know them well, but they were important relatives to my Dad. I would like to find out what happened to the twins.

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