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Mountain View Cemetery tour is in the offing

A tour of Mountain View Cemetery is set for June 1. Photo courtesy of the city of Walla Walla.

WALLA WALLA, Washington – Located under a canopy of trees and covering 80-plus acres of land in Walla Walla is Mountain View Cemetery. It’s the final resting place for over 40,000 people who helped shape the region.  More than 2,000 veterans are among those who have been laid to rest there.

Now, the community is invited to take a step back in time and attend a free tour of Mountain View Cemetery to pay homage to the veterans and learn about the interesting and colorful citizens buried there, with many headstones dating back to the 1800s. The free tour, which will take about 90 minutes, will be led by a cemetery staff member and area veteran on Saturday, June 1, starting at 10 a.m.  The cemetery is located at 2120 S. Second Ave.

Mountain View Cemetery includes the cemeteries formerly owned by the Masonic Lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows and the Catholic church with burials dating back to the 1860s. It features ornate monuments and markers that attest to the artistic abilities of the expert stone cutters who crafted many of the oldest stones comprising marble and granite. The city of Walla Walla recently received a $25,000 grant to realign headstones in the veteran sections of the cemetery, a process which began last month.

Work is underway on realigning the graves of veterans at Mountain View Cemetery. Photo courtesy of city of Walla Walla.

“There’s a number of headstones and many rows that are misaligned over the years,” Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Director Andy Coleman said. “We’ve discovered some of those have broken off. Thankfully and fortunately, there is a program – I believe through the VA – where we can submit for replacement of those headstones. So we have done that and there’s no cost to the city to have these headstones replaced.”

Coleman hoped to have the realignment project completed by June.  However, due to the discovery of the broken headstones and the replacement process, he estimates this project will likely take another three months. During the realigning process, headstones may be removed for an undetermined amount of time.

If you have questions about the headstone realignment project, contact the parks and recreation office at 509-527-4527. To learn more about the upcoming tour of Mountain View Cemetery contact the office at 509-527-4485, or Caretaker Joanna Lanning at 509-200-6646 or jlanning@wallawallawa.gov

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