By Dave Sclair
Four Lakewood cemeteries were the topic for the October meeting of the Lakewood Historical Society at the Lakewood Library Tuesday evening and a near-capacity crowd of 55 people showed up to hear the program. The speakers represented the Old Settlers Cemetery on Washington Boulevard, the Western State Hospital Patient Cemetery located in Fort Steilacoom Park, the Home of Peace Jewish Cemetery at the corner of Lakewood Dr and Steilacoom Boulevard and the Masonic Cemetery, near the intersection of Farwest Drive and Masonic Road in Lakewood.
Speaking about the Old Settlers’ Cemetery was Mrs. Terri Castro whose son headed up the refurbishing the grounds as an Eagle Scout project. Deb Freedman, historian and archivist for the Jewish Cemetery, explained the history of the cemetery as well as provided some background on Jewish customs. Laurel Lemke represented the Western State Hospital Grave Concerns Committee. Jeremy Yielding, worshipful master of the Steilacoom Masonic Lodge #2 completed the group of speakers.
Sue Scott, secretary of the Lakewood Historical Society, coordinated the evening.. The Society produces a program each month, usually held at the Lakewood Library. Each features a different speaker who covers an aspect of the history of the Lakewood area, according to Becky Huber, president of the Society. In addition to the monthly programs, the Society also maintains a free museum in the historic Lakewood Colonial Center.
The next Society gathering will be the annual meeting slated for Little Church on the Prairie, Nov.9 starting at 7 pm. The meeting will include election of directors and officers and a presentation by Sam Matsui, a Japanese Amrerican who served in the US Army during WW2.