Letter to the Editor: Let’s Come Together Saturday to Show Love for a Pioneer Cemetery


In the past few years, we here in Lewis County have seen the sad neglect and demise of several pioneer cemeteries. There are many underlying reasons for their difficulties. On the other hand, there are many pioneer cemeteries scattered throughout the county that have survived the many trials and tribulations time has ravaged upon them. Some are supported by the tax dollars of cemetery districts, others are not. It is ever so important to let the many families who have ancestors buried in these smaller sites know they can and should be involved in the care and upkeep of their family history. 

I am involved with Fern Hill located on the south end of Chehalis just off Bishop Road. Many are quasi-familiar with driving by the stately pillars at 1500 Bishop Road (intersection of Bishop and Interstate 5) and some are aware of the effort put forth by the association that oversees this beautiful 8 and a half acres. 

There were those who purchased a site many years ago who believed this community treasure had what is known as “perpetual care” and they need not worry that someone would assume responsibility for the resting place of their beloved family members. I have come to know that “perpetual care” really means that someone steps up and takes responsibility. Many of those interred at Fern Hill seemingly have no family to assist in maintenance and care. The association, which is composed by any and all with family members buried therein, or simply interested and caring neighbors, has continued to bear the weight of this privilege. We do so with pride and humility. We ask that you join us. Jacksons, Wests, Saunders, Hamiltons, Breens, Bonds, Elys, Teitzels, Ponders, Wisners, Bennetts, Kuehners and many more! 

Today I am asking that any and all with affiliation or affection for Fern Hill to please plan to come to our cleanup party at 9 a.m. March 18. 

Your ability to assist, or lack thereof, does not matter. We want to see you. We plan to start at 9 a.m. rain or shine. We will serve a free lunch at 12:30 p.m. Appropriate clothes, including gloves, are encouraged. Bring work tools if you can. Your kids and grandkids can earn both community service hours and pride when helping out. If this date doesn’t work for you, tell me a time and a date that will. I’ll be there to help out. Please feel free to call with positive thoughts and input at 360-304-8536. 


Penny Mauel