Maynard's Point Cemetery

  • By Laura Angotti
  • Posted 11/03/1998
  • Essay 970
See Additional Media

In Seattle's early days, burials were made at Maynard's Point on the property of Dr. W. S. Maynard (1808-1873). Maynard's Point, Seattle's original business district, is now part of the Seattle waterfront landfill in lower Pioneer Square.

In the soggy old days, a lagoon lay to the east of the Point. The lagoon was slowly filled with sawdust from the Yesler Mill, junk, horse carcasses, and other matter. To the south lay the tideflats created by the Duwamish River.

Burials in Maynard's Point began as early as 1854. In 1864 they were removed to the Seattle Cemetery, located on lower Queen Anne on the current (1999) site of Denny Park. The first city gasworks were then built on the former graveyard.

One of the burials was that of Dr. W. B. G. Cherry, who died in Seattle in March 1854. Dr. Cherry had been wounded by Indians while participating in a posse at Holmes Harbor.

Some reports indicate that there was a full-scale cemetery on Dr. Maynard's land; however these reports appear to have confused the burial ground with the Seattle Cemetery, to which burials at Maynard's Point were later removed.

The few bodies here were removed in September 1864, probably when the first gasworks were built not far from the spot. This burial ground appears to have been the cemetery also known as the Duwamish Cemetery, where it is reported Chief Seattle was buried after his death on June 7, 1866. Chief Seattle's grave is now in Suquamish, north of Bainbridge Island, suggesting that the initial report is in error or that the burial was moved.


Thomas Prosch, A Chronological History of Seattle from 1850 to 1897, typescript dated 1900-1901, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Library, 154; Gordon Newell, Westward To Alki (Seattle: Superior Publishing Co.), 67. Bill Spiedel, Doc Maynard: The Man Who Invented Seattle (Nettle Creek Publishing Co., 1978), 146-7.
Note: This essay was corrected on October 18, 2007, to correctly place Chief Seattle's grave in Suquamish, north of Bainbridge Island.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You