Union Cemetery or Bush Prairie Cemetery is located south of Olympia. Go south on Capital Boulevard through Tumwater and turn on Trosper Road. Cross over the freeway on Trosper Road (54th Ave SW) and continue a short distance to Littlerock Road SW where you turn left. Travel along Littlerock Road about .25 miles and the cemetery will be on your right. The first meeting to organze the Union cemetery was held in the home of Jesse Ferguson on 1 December 1865. On 4 Jan 1866 the Union Cemetery was incorporated by an act of the Thirteenth Legislature. William Jenks, Morris Littlejohn and James Dunlap were the men chosen to procure a suitable parcel of ground for this cemetery. Jesse Ferguson was one of the original settlers of this region, who arrived with MIchael T. Simmons and his party in 1845. Mr. Ferguson sold the land (about two acres) to the Union Cemetery in the winter of 1867 for ten dollars. Evidently the land was used as a cemetery before that time, since a number of the dates of death on the tombstones predate 1867. According to old records kept by the cemetery, undertakers would sometimes bury the dead there and not notify the Cemetery Association. Consequently there are many unmarked and unrecorded graves in this cemetery It is believed that Charles H. Mason, first Secretary of the Territory of Washington, and the man whose name was given to Mason County, is buried there. Many of the pioneers of the area were buried there. It is associated with the earliest period of Tumwater history. Some of the first permanent American settlers on Puget Sound at Tumwater, such as George and Isabella Bush, members of the 1845 settlement party, are interned here. The cemetery is also significant for the unusual grave markers for a Puget Sound Indian War Volunteer, War of 1812 veteran William Rutledge, and Civil War Veterans.
Transcribed for the Internet and submitted by Jerri McCoy March 14, 1998.
©1998 Olympia Genealogical Society. Updated Sep 2010
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Bush Prairie or Union Cemetery.
The original tombstone data was copied by Miss Judy Allen in 1975. She became the Sexton of Union Cemetery in 1971, when she was sixteen years of age. The cemetery was canvassed again in 1978. Mrs. Daniel Dana (Frances Goldsby), a great granddaughter of William Goldsby, supplied information as to many individuals who are buried here but have no stones.