Where Did All The Content Go?

haunted house

Websites are like haunted houses…

I’ve often thought of a website as a haunted house. It might have dark passages that lead to abandoned rooms, cobwebs in the corners, furniture moldering in disrepair. Sometimes it’s hard to find your way back where you came from. It’s disorienting. If you could only find the right room, you’re certain you would find exactly what you’re looking for.

Or would you?

Our website has definitely taken on a haunted appearance lately. Where we once had bright and cheery rooms full of useful items in the expected places, we now have locked doors carrying a sort-of No Tresspassing sign: “This content temporarily unavailable.” You can almost see the skulls and crossbones. What’s up with that?

Well, our website is in the middle of a pretty extensive re-model this summer. And, if you’ve ever remodeled a house, haunted or otherwise, you know how chaotic the process can be. But the first fruits of the chaos have already arrived in the form of this blog. It will give us the opportunity to opine about all sorts of cemetery-related matters, those directly related to the Auburn Pioneer Cemetery and those of a more general tenor. I can’t think of a more fitting addition to build onto our haunted digs, can you?

Just as a way of reminding myself of all the content we have in storage, I composed a laundry list this week of all the features that we have developed for the site—features that will all be returning as time permits. It’s not a bad little list. Many cemetery sites offer little more than a transcript of their tombstones. We have always endeavored to make this site more engaging, both to descendants and other interested visitors. I hope the list is evidence that we are slowly succeeding.

So, please—feel free to look around. There’s no need to be scared. All of the ghosts are friendly here.

Materials Developed for Auburn Pioneer Cemetery website:

  • Complete transcript of all extant tombstones, including a kanji transcript of the Japanese language stones.
  • Row listings indicating the location of individual Japanese-language markers relative to nearby English-language markers
  • Translations of names and dates for each of the 100+ Japanese language stones.
  • High-def, high-contrast digital photo catalog of each of the original kanji tombstones (those produced between 1928-1942 including Jizo statues)
  • Miscellaneous site photography
  • Compellation of unmarked burials, both Japanese and “pioneer”
  • Plot map including locations of marked and unmarked graves; locations of statuary and cenotaphs; location of vacant plots
  • Comprehensive cemetery history from 1866 through present, both in text form and interactive timeline form
  • Glossary of specialized terminology applying to the cemetery, especially of terminology of Japanese and/or Buddhist burial practices
  • Slide deck illustrating the evolution of Japanese markers at the cemetery from 1900 through present day
  • Genealogy/Family trees of all families represented in the cemetery (except in the few cases where a family returned to Japan after a burial, at which point they disappeared from U.S. records)
  • Narrative biographies representing approximately 25 individuals (and/or their families) buried in the cemetery. A number that will grow in the future.

2 thoughts on “Where Did All The Content Go?

  1. Hi, we are looking forward to seeing some of the old content put back up. Any plans to do so in the near future? I am the one who supplied you with biographical information for the Kosai family, my mother-in-law is Mitzi Kosai Matsuyama. Please email me if I can be of any help. Another of the Kosai family, my husband Dave’s cousin, Tomi Kosai (Frank Kosai’s daughter – he was the oldest Kosai son) was asking me about some of that old content. Thanks! Beth Matsuyama

    • Hi Beth,
      Gosh, that’s a long story! Suffice it to say I was waiting to the City of Auburn to get its act together and finish the Landmark nomination that was due in Septemer–of 2013! They’ve given their consultant yet another extension and I’m told they are supposed to be finished by now. I’ve yet to see any evidence of that. Hopefully we’ll be full steam ahead soon. In the meantime, the Kosai biography is most definitely still up, and I’ve been in contact with one of Frank’s daughters (she used a different name, but I assume she’s the person you’re referring to) and we’ve exchanged lots of info. I hope to meet her when she comes out to visit Washington.
      Thanks for your patience and for checking in with me!

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