Workers needed for annual Hope Pioneer Cemetery cleanup

By Reader Staff

For the past three years, a small group of dedicated citizens has gathered each spring to spruce up the Pioneer Cemetery — a small patch of gravestones overlooking Lake Pend Oreille on Highland Avenue in Hope. This year, the cleanup day will be held Saturday, June 5 from 9-11 a.m., and any and all help is appreciated.

The Pioneer Cemetery in Hope. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert

Volunteers, led by local man Jim Livingston, have improved the area of remembrance from a tangled, overgrown mess to a place for visitors, complete with a flag pole, path and bench. The cemetery is partially visible from Highway 200, above the large yellow retaining wall near the Hope boat basin.

Though the area is known colloquially as the “Chinese Cemetery” — where Chinese railroad workers were supposedly buried in the 1800s — volunteers have determined that only five Chinese graves remain in the cemetery. By and large, the area serves as a resting place for some of Hope’s earliest pioneer residents.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring power tools, rakes and other landscaping materials to help with the annual cleanup, as well as gloves and sunscreen.

Those with questions can call 2021 cleanup coordinator Marie Bledsoe at 208-920-0074.

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