History Through Cemeteries

When walking through the tranquil, almost silent cemetery sitting just above U Village one gets a micro glimpse into the history of this part of Seattle. You get to see the names, the births, and the deaths of so many people over the many decades who are now interred  at Calvary Cemetery. As a class, we took note on many of grave stones that can be found here and each of us analyzed the data to see what could be learned from these aging marble markers. I decided to look at the frequency of deaths when compared to years. The results are as follows:

When looking through the data, the two 5 year increments that contained the highest number of deaths were the years 1930 and 1945 with the years leading up to 1930 increasing and the years following 1945 decreasing.

So what can be gained from this? Well, we can clearly see two major events going on. The impact of the first World War with the coming impact of the Spanish Flu, and the onset and impact of the second World War. As soldiers came back home from all over the world, the flu took its impact on many of the populations whose countries were involved in the war. Then with the end of World War II we get the steady decrease of deaths due to the end of the major impacts of the two wars. As well as the impact of these two wars, we also see the surrounding impact of the Vietnam War and other events of the time as well as the ending of a generation with deaths increasing as we leave the 20th century and the war generation.

Though cemeteries are usually a place of quite reflection and respect, much can be learned by simply walking up to and seeing who the marker represents and from what time they came from.

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