Alaska, Featured, Seward History

Seward Celebrates Solstice with a Cemetery Tour

Poleske explaining cemetery sections to tour participants. Photo: Norma Elletson.
By Kelley Lane for Seward City News-

On Wednesday evening, June 21st, 50 Sewardites celebrated the Summer Solstice with a Cemetery Tour.  Cemetery tours have taken place for more than a decade on the Summer Solstice.

Local historian Lee Poleske led the event with the competent support of Council Member Sue McClure. A crowd of local history enthusiasts gathered and enjoyed conversing with one another in the minutes leading up to 10:30pm. The long hours of daylight made for plenty of light with which to conduct the tour, which lasted for approximately one hour. The cemetery tour began in the American Legion section, which is located directly behind the Seward Chamber of Commerce building. Lee and Sue explained the historical significance of the different sections of the cemetery. The cemetery comprises many sections including the Masons, Elks, Pioneers, Oddfellows and Jesse Lee.  Additionally, the City Cemetery takes up a big chunk of the cemetery land.

Photo: Norma Elletson.


In addition to exploring different physical sections of the cemetery, leaders read selected obituaries. They selected obituaries of long time Sewardites, including those of a few of the founders, and obituaries written in various styles.  Sue McClure reminded participants that the Seward Museum houses a large quantity of obituaries of local people, and that they can be found in the binders at the museum.

Norma Elletson provided the photos for this article. Norma is living in Seward this summer, while working on the Holland America Cruise trains that transport cruise passengers from Seward to Anchorage and from Whittier to Talkeetna.

Poleske discusses the significance of this marker with the group. Photo: Norma Elletson.


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