Oregon & Washington By SJGH
built: 1894 The haunting: Said to be haunted by the ghost of the "Gray Lady," who is perhaps the mother of an unknown baby whose grave has been found on the grounds. Also known as "Rue," the ghost is known for moving objects, opening and closing cupboard doors and other strange occurrences. One workman claimed to have come face-to-face with Rue in the attic and fled in terror. Days later, while working on the exterior of the building, he accidentally broke one of the attic's windows, but refused to go up there to repair it. He instead repaired it from the outside, leaving the broken glass scattered across the attic floor. That night, workers heard scraping noises in the attic. When they checked it out the next morning, all of the broken glass had been swept into a neat pile.
Even today, some report that they have seen an elderly woman looking down from an attic window. The building is a bed and breakfast today.
About 1895, five Grand Army of the Republic posts in Seattle established this cemetery for the heroes of 1861 - 65 (the Civil War) and maintained it until 1922. They then hired the neighboring Lakeview Cemetery Association, Inc. to take care of the property at their expense, but the financial and maintenance burden was too great for the diminishing numbers of old veterans so they placed their problem before the Seattle City Council.
By purchase and condemnations, a sympathetic Council acquired the property surrounding the gravesites, the gravesites being deeded to the G.A.R. Stevens Post No. 1, and turned it over to the Park Department for "park purposes" together with maintenance of the entire area. The scattered gravesites were relocated to a central grouping and the upright headstones were imbedded in concrete flush with the lawn, a sprinkling system installed, trees and shrubs planted, including a hedge enclosing the gravesites. Maintenance became an increasing problem, owing to the legal complications in spending funds on property not legally owned by the city, so caretaking became minimal.
History of the G.A.R. Cemetery
G.A.R. Cemetery - Seattle, Washington
An attempt was made in 1939 to create a W.P.A. Improvement project including a service building and perimeter fence, but was unsuccessful. During World War II, the Coast Artillery was permitted to emplace a searchlight with power plant and crew quarters in the park. Then came a period of abuse and dumping of refuse and garbage and the playing of ball games across the gravesites as well as "lawns": shrubs and trees were knocked down or damaged.
Police and maintenance crews were ineffective, so the trustees of the Stevens Post, G.A.R. attempted a solution by hiring a firm (Martin Pick Co.) to assist in maintenance, but in 1955 again sought help from the City Council. The request was tabled for study, including an attempt to transfer maintenance and control to the Federal Cemetery system, but the request was lost in red tape. In 1960 there was an attempt to remove either the gravesites or the maintenance to the Fort Lawton facility. No action.
The Lakeview Cemetery Association, Inc. corresponded with Senator Warren G. Magnuson about this matter and he contacted both the Veterans Administration and Department of the Army. The Veterans Administration was only authorized to maintain cemeteries in connection with its own installations. The Department of the Army Quartermaster General's Office replied that they could not provide funds for maintenance, but by a 1948 law they could furnish appropriate headstones for the unmarked graves of Civil War Veterans.
Location: Florence, Oregon