Two of several remaining tombstones at Evergreen Cemetery
Arvid Lyons Grave Marker
Grave Marker

Stop 6 on the Self-guided Tour, the Evergreen Cemetery is found just east of Dry Landing Road on Five Mile Road. Below is the story of the cemetery taken from the dedication ceremony for the cemetery in 2014.

Evergreen Cemetery Dedication Ceremony 
Town of Blaine, Burnett County. WI 
June 28, 2014

This old, almost forgotten cemetery located in the Town of Blaine has gone by several names. Locally, it’s been called the “Settlers Cemetery”, or the “Indian Cemetery,” but it’s also gone by the “Hillock Cemetery” after the family that donated the 3-acre parcel. It has been called the “Love Cemetery,” the origin of which is unknown except there was a David Love buried here in 1908. Another name is the “Forest Home Cemetery,” which was also the name of the first school located a half mile north of here, and where the school foundation is still visible. Finally, now for many years it’s the “Evergreen Cemetery.

Burials occurred in this cemetery more than a hundred years ago, between 1903 to 1914 by the settlers and Native Americans that lived in this area. There are about 36 people buried here, but burial records exist for only 24. It is well known by many locals that a number of Native Americans are also buried in Evergreen Cemetery, but no death or other records were kept.

There are only a few old headstones or markers remaining, and only one that is still legible. Like many pioneer cemeteries of that age, the early settlers could not afford durable stone markers for gravesites; instead they used wooden markers that didn’t last through time. This area of Wisconsin was also quite fire-prone in the early 1900’s which may have been one reason so few markers exist today.

The only headstone that is still legible is for Arvid Lyon, and we know a little more about him. Lyon (LY-on) which may have been pronounced “Lee-own” was born September 30, 1841 and died May 24, 1914 at the age of 72. To our knowledge he was the last person to be buried here in this cemetery. Like many before him, it’s likely that he emigrated here from Sweden since his daughter Ruth Emelia Lyon, age 5, is also buried here, and she is listed as being born in Sweden. The daughter’s mother is listed as Erika Augusta but there is no record of her death or burial location. However, Arvid is listed as “widowed,” so apparently she died before him, and may also have been buried here but was not recorded. According to the 1915 Plat Book map Arvid Lyon’s 160 acre homestead was located just one mile east of this cemetery.

One fellow deserves special mention because he is the only recorded veteran. His name is Francis Thurston, born in Iowa in 1848 and died here in 1904. He was a veteran of the Spanish American War of 1898.  If you remember, the Spanish American War was basically over Cuba’s independence from Spain, with the battleship Maine being sunk in the Cuban harbor, and where Teddy Roosevelt made a name for himself by charging up San Juan Hill. It has been said that there are veterans from the Civil War buried here, and it is certainly possible, but no records have been found to substantiate this.

There is limited information about the 24 people that are buried here. Listed are 5 unnamed infants, and 5 children between the age of 4 and 9 who died from such diseases as diphtheria and scarlet fever. The remaining 14 recorded burials are for adults between the age of 26 to 76 who died from such things as childbirth and heart problems, and one from suicide at age 45. Only 3 made it into their 70’s, one being Arvid Lyon (mentioned earlier).

Sadly, for many decades, Evergreen Cemetery was neglected and became grown over with brush and jack pine. Then, during the week of August 18, 1986 in preparation for a prescribed burn, DNR Fire Control crews from Minong and Gordon incorrectly read their maps and brought in heavy equipment to this area and knocked over a number of large jack pine trees before their error was discovered. The DNR, to their credit, then removed the downed trees, and using long chains reaching from the road, dragged out the tree stumps. The DNR also marked the perimeter of the cemetery with 4 cement posts that remain in place today. Although this disturbance was done in error, it did open up the cemetery so more people became aware of it, and begin to pay more attention to it.

The Burnett County Historical Society had a large plaque made with very meaningful words inscribed, and the DNR brought in a large rock upon which the plaque was mounted. However, this original plaque has faded badly from the sun, and is now only partially legible.

This brings us to today’s new and more lasting granite marker that has the same exact inscription as the first plaque and reads as follows:

“The people are now gone and the land has been reclaimed by nature, the past almost forgotten. These inhospitable barrens saw
the individual sacrifice and hardships of the Indians and
early settlers in their attempt to eke out a living in the
n o n – f e r t i l e environment. Evergreen Cemetery remains as a memorial to the strength and courage of those people who once lived here. It will serve as a reminder to future generations to pause and give tribute to those who came before them.”

Evergreen Cemetery Burial Information Data from Burnett County Death Records

Location: Town of Blaine, Burnett County, WI Township42N.,Range 14W.Section 23

NameGenderBirthdateDeathCause of DeathBirthplaceFamilycatalog
Aikinson. MarvWhite femaleBorn: ca. 1886 (France)Death: August 26, 1906Cause: ChildbirthBohemian, born in FranceVol. C: Page 94: No. 53
Basler. IdaWhite femaleBorn: October 17. 1901Death: December 3. 1908Cause: Scarlet feverVol. 1: Page 208
Bindert. Wilhelm FrederickWhite maleBorn: February 25. 1837Death: January 22. 1908Cause: Aoritc valve diseaseFather: Martin Bindert
Mother: Dorothey Frerich
Vol. 1: Page 215
Burlingame. BerthaWhite female, MarriedBorn: August 20,1865Death: August 28. 1909Cause: ChildbirthBorn in SwitzerlandFather: Jacob BaslerVol. 1; page 44
Burlingame. unnamed infantWhite femaleBorn: March 17. 1903Death: March 18. 1903Cause: I InknownFather: D. A. Burlingame
Mother: Unknown
Vol. C; Page 62: No. 5
Howard. Glen ClarenceWhite maleBorn: Mav 13. 1886Death: May 15. 1912Cause: TuberculosisBorn in IowaFisted as Love CemeteryVol. 2; Page 17
Howard. Roy WilliamWhite maleBorn: February 1. 1912Death: February 3. 1912Cause: Lack of vitalityFather: Glen C. Howard
Mother: Emma Perley Howard
Vol. 1; Page 413
Lindgren. MinnieWhite femaleBorn: June 25. 1899Death: October 18 .1908Cause: Diphtheria”Father: Eric Lindgren
Mother: Mary Lundquist Lindgren
Vol. 1: Page 214
Love. David M.White maleunknownDeath: February 8. 1908Cause: DropsyVol. 1; Page 217
Lyon. ArvidWhite male: WidowedBorn: September 30. 1841Death: May 24, 1914Cause: Carcinoma of stomachInformant: Anna Lyon (s)Vol. 2: Page 204
Lyon. Ruth EmeliaWhite femaleBorn: June 17, 1901 (Sweden)Death: April 25, 1906Cause: Burned in bonfireSwedenArvid J. Lyon
Mother: Frika Augusta
Vol. C; Page 90: No. 29
McKce. JohnWhite maleBorn: 1837Death: December 5, 1908Cause: Heart failureWife: Anna Freil
Listed as Love Cemetery
Vol. C: Page 101: No. 19
Miller, unnamed infantWhite maleBorn: April 14. 1908Death: April 25. 1908Cause: Spasmslather: John H. MillerVol. 1; Page 218
Morse. RansomWhite maleBorn: June 1. 1831Death: January 25. 1908Cause: DropsyVol. 1: Page 221
Nelson. JohnWhite maleBorn: 1858Death: March 14. 1912Cause: FireC. F. Richard paid byVol. 1: Page 430
Newell. Mrs. Anna C.White femaleBorn: December 16. 1838Death: May 15. 1906Cause: Pneumonia. AsthmaFather: John Friel
Mother: Rebekah Friel
Listed as Love Cemetery
Vol. C; Page 91: No. 30
Parson, unnamed infantWhite maleBorn: April 27. 1906Death: May 3. 1905Cause: Spasms
Father: John F. Parson
Mother: Hannah Parson

No place of death/burial recorded
Vol. C; Page 89: No. 18
Pepper. AlfredaWhite femaleBorn: September 1. 1850Death: April 30. 1906Cause: Heart trouble & DropsyFather: George
Mother: Sara
Place of burial not recorded
Vol. C; Page 90: No. 26
Randall. Clarrasie AlsachiWhite femaleBorn: April 19. 1863Death: September 16. 1908Cause: SuicideVol. 1: Page 213
Shaw, unnamed infantWhite maleBorn: May 16. 1908Death: May 17. 1908Cause: UnknownFather: Perry Shaw
Mother: Mary Bardeen Shaw
Vol. 1: Page 212
Swanson. AliceWhite femaleBorn: ca. March 4. 1900Death: September 4. 1904Cause: Diphtheria & heart failureFather: Albert Swanson
Mother: Minnie Swanson
Vol. C; Page 71; No. 58
Sweet. DorcasBorn: UnknownDeath: December 24. 1908Cause: Diabetes & PneumoniaVol. 1: Page 211
Thurston. FrancisWhite maleBorn: July 26. 1848 (Iowa)Death: January 16. 1904Cause: Valvularheart problemFather: Alfred
Mother: Lydia
Veteran: Spanish/American War.
Co. F. 8th Wisconsin Volunteers
Vol. C; Page 62
Van Dalen. LvaWhite femaleBorn: Nov. 20, 1901 (Indiana)Death: February 20. 1908Cause: DiphtheriaFather: Adrian
Mother: Lli/.abeth Rhodes
Vol. 1; Page 112

Addendum to List of Burials at Evergreen Cemetery in the Town of Blaine, Burnett County, WI . June 28, 2014

1. In addition to those 24 people listed there are other names listed as being buried in Evergreen without birth or death information:

a. Anderson: Babys (white paint on red slate stone); boy; Julia or Eva (twin); Lousie (twin); Nels, Jr.; Violet.

b. Bradley: Caroline; Severt; Stella.
c. Corbin.

Glen Clarence Howard; John McKee; and Mrs. Anna C. Newell.

4. John McKee appears on the 1915 Plat Book map. A 40 acres parcel in Sec. 36 Township 42N., Range 15W. Town of Blaine (west).

  1. Mrs. Anna C. Newell appears on the 1915 Plat Book map. A 120 acre parcel (nexttoJohnMcKce’sparcel)inSec.36Township42N.,Range 15W. Town of Blaine (west).
  2. D. M. Love appears on the 1915 Plat Book map. A 80 acre parcel in Sec. 15 Township4IN.,Range 15W.TownofSwiss.
  3. John “A.”Nelson appears on the 1915 Plat Book map. A 160 acre parcel in Sec.7Township4IN.,Range 15W.TownofSwiss.
  4. It is well known by many locals that a number of Native Americans are also buried in Evergreen Cemetery, but no death or other records were kept.
  5. The record shows there is a veteran buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Francis Thurston who served during the Spanish American War in 1898. However, I’ve heard from locals that there are supposed to be 2 veterans of the Civil War buried there.

10.The earliest burial date is for the Burlingame infant who died March 18, 1903. The last burial date listed is for Arvid Lyon who died May 24, 1914.

(See number 2 above).

1 1. The 24 recorded burials in Evergreen Cemetery took place over a 12 year period, between 1903 and 1914 as follows:

a. 1903: One
b. 1904: Two
c. 1905: One
d. 1906: Four
e. 1908: Eleven f. 1909: One

  1. 1910: None
  2. 1911: None

i. 1912: Three

j. 1914: One
12. The ages of the 24 recorded burials in Evergreen Cemetery are as follows:

  1. Infants (4 unnamed): 5
  2. Children between 4 – 9 years old: 5
  3. Adults between 26 – 76 years old: 12
  4. Adults unknown age: 2