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This post takes a look at where to find famous Seattle graves, including the Chief Seattle gravesite, the Bruce Lee grave site (as well as his son Brandon’s), and the Jimi Hendrix gravesite — all located near Seattle, WA.
Famous cemeteries like Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles, Pere Lachaise in Paris, or London’s Highgate, attract people whose idea of an enjoyable trip includes seeking out the final resting place of celebrities.
Seattle doesn’t come to mind when you think about famous celebrities or celebrity burials. Of course, there are plenty of locally famous Seattle graves to visit. Many of Seattle’s founders, from the Dennys to Doc Maynard, are buried in beautiful Lakeside Cemetery on Capitol Hilll.
However, we do have a few gravesites of individuals well-known outside the Puget Sound area.
Here’s a look at a few famous Seattle graves. Our itinerary includes the Chief Seattle gravesite, the Bruce and Brandon Lee gravesite, and the Jimi Hendrix gravesite. We’ll also look at some other, more locally famous, graves you can visit when you’re at Lakeside.
Chief Sealth (Seattle) (1786-1866)
The soil is rich with the life of our kindred.
-quote from Chief Sealth gravesite
Chief Sealth was a Suquamish/Duwamish chief who developed a relationship with Seattle’s white settlers. He is well known for his importance in Seattle’s history, as its namesake, as well as for the words of a beautiful speech he never gave.
Where is he buried?
Chief Sealth is buried in the tribal cemetery in Suquamish, WA, not too far from where he was born.
Although he died in 1866, his tombstone was placed by some of Seattle’s founders in 1890.
In the past there, was a wooden canoe memorial, but it was rotting, and the gravesite is now flanked by two cedar totem poles placed there in 2011.
According to this article, the left pole represents Sealth as a warrior and as a wise elder, giving a speech. The right pole represents Old Man House in Suquamish — Sealth’s birthplace, and his spotting the sails of George Vancouver’s ships at the age of six.
A concrete ring surrounds the gravesite, engraved with quotes honoring the chief.
To get to the Chief Seattle gravesite, you’ll need to take a ferry if you’re in Seattle. The best way is to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island, then proceed off the highway up 305. Right after you’ve gone over the Agate Pass bridge and see the Clearwater Casino on your left, take a right onto Suquamish Way. Go all the way down Suquamish Way until you start to see the water, cultural center, etc., and swing a sharp left onto South street. You’ll see signs there to turn to the left to get to his gravesite.
Click here to access the interactive map or here for Google map and directions.
Chief Seattle (Sealth) Gravesite Photos
Bruce Lee (1940-1973) and Brandon Lee (1965-1993)
How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty, and yet it all seems limitless.
-from Brandon Lee’s gravestone
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco but raised in Hong Kong. However, he lived and worked in Seattle when he first came back to the US, attending UW and opening his first martial arts school here.
Bruce died young, and Brandon moved to Seattle with his family. Like his father before him, Brandon Lee also died too young, while filming The Crow in 1993.
Where are they buried?
Bruce and Brandon Lee’s gravesite are next to each other at Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetery.
Both have moving words inscribed on their stones, and people still come to leave offerings regularly.
Also at Lakeview:
Lakeview is a lovely cemetery just to take a stroll, with a view of the lake (as the name implies) and blossoms in the Spring. It’s also the resting place of many of Seattle’s founders. Look for:
- Princess Angeline, Chief Sealth’s Daughter