Port Blakely Cemetery
• Kids make rubbings of grave stones; mapping and stories focusing on cultural history
• Established in 1880. Cultural history is important because you have to understand the history of the people who inhabited a place if you are to completely understand a place – “Sense of Place” curriculum allows students to understand what was happening here before we arrived on the scene.
• Large stand of Douglas fir encircle the cemetery. Logging was avoided in the area immediately surrounding it.
• Segregation: Caucasians in the center; Jewish along the south or left side; Japanese scattered, but mainly to the far right or north side; Native Americans were not allowed to be buried in the cemetery, but there are unmarked gravesites on perimeter of the property.
• Many headstones represent a tree or log as an artistic representation; “Here lies the world’s greatest woodsman”; doves, a wood hatchet, and ivy were the symbols of the Woodsman of the World, a fraternal benefit company that assured that "no Woodsman shall rest in an unmarked grave." The phrase Dum tacet, clamat (Latin: “Though silent, he speaks” is often found on these gravestones. The Woodsman of the World still exists as an insurance company read more about them here.
• Dix Disaster: (1906) 42 people were killed when a passenger freighter named “Dix” collided with another ship just off Blakely Rock. Mill shut down for two days out of respect. Read about the Dix Disaster here.