By Winonna Saari Special to The Herald
EVERETT — Behind a shed in Evergreen Cemetery sat a stack of three rows of six concrete headstones wrapped in paper.
These 18 headstones are to be set on burial sites for men who lived and died here nearly a century ago. For decades, the men lay in unmarked graves due to their families’ inability to pay for headstones.
About 10 years ago, James Shipman, the cemetery manager and a Civil War buff, discovered a list of Civil War veterans in the records.
Over the years, and now retired, Shipman put biographies to men’s names. The end result are the new headstones.
“Any veteran should not lay to rest forgotten,” Shipman said. “The Civil War was the most critical in American history. The ones that settled here had their dream, lived here, then died here.”
The markers will be installed within the next two months, just before the cemetery’s annual Blue and Grey Civil War reenactment July 14.
Shipman and his associates, Bruce Smith and Karyn Westre, requested the federal government provide headstones for those veterans who never had one. They also asked for replacements for missing or damaged headstones.
Altogether, 150 Civil War vets are buried there.
Evergreen Cemetery is placing the headstones on the burial sites at no cost. Until that happens, visitors can see them lined up on the west side of the mausoleum.
Those being remembered with the new headstones are men including George Johnson, who fought in the Battle of Antietam; Theophilus Rock, who fathered 12 children; and William Laroe, who fought at Gettysburg.
Remembering these men is important for future generations, Shipman said. “It is part of Evergreen Cemetery to preserve our history of Everett, and of Snohomish County.”