Submitted by Grave Concerns.
For twenty years the Grave Concerns project has been bringing dignity to former patients who died while resident at Western State Hospital between 1871 and 1950. There are 3,200 such graves located in the Pioneer Cemetery currently within the boundaries of Fort Steilacoom Park. Patient graves were originally marked with a small numbered concrete block as the only form of identification. Grave Concerns endeavors to replace the numbered markers with a granite gravestone containing the name, and birth and death dates of each individual. About 1800 grave markers have been installed thus far.
The link below is to, “Erics Heroes,” a human interest piece shown on KOMO TV explains the program and the community efforts.
Grave Concerns is having a community service project on Saturday, October 22nd, from 9:00 until noon to help place an additional 39 grave markers. Members of the community are invited to participate.
The volunteer event is held in conjunction with the City of Lakewood’s Youth Make A Difference Day, but persons of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate.
Volunteers are encouraged to wear gardening gloves and to bring small gardening tools. To learn more about the project please use GraveConcernsAssociation@gmail.com, or Facebook@Grave Concerns.