Global True Lithuania Lithuanian communities and heritage worldwide

Washington (State)

Washington State like all the US Pacific Coast has little Lithuanian heritage as there have been almost no old Lithuanian communities.

One exception is the Roslyn Lithuanian cemetary. Being the only Lithuanian cemetary west of Missisippi it became a kind of pilgrimage site for some Lithuanian immigrants there. Celebrations of Vėlinės (the traditional Lithuanian day of the dead) are commonly held there, symbollically memorizing the graves of loved-ones left back in Lithuania. They are attended by the fairly recent Lithuanian community of Seattle as well as the Lithuanians of Oregon.

Currently Roslyn has just 800 inhabittants but back in 1910 it has been a major mining center attracting numerous immigrants. Instead of establishing cemetaries solely along the religious/parochial lines (as have been common) 20 small cemetaries have been erected in Roslyn. Some of them are dedicated to different ethnicities: in addition to the Lithuanian cemetary there are also Polish, Croatian, Serbian, Slovak cemetaries. In 2010 a small memorial has been constructed at the Lithuanian cemetary for 16 000 USD.

In the Seattle itself the Lithuanian community, lacking their own building, meets at the Latvian House as Latvians are a "brother nation".

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