ANACORTES — Not all who enter Washington Park realize that a 15-ton granite monument honoring Tonjes Havekost also marks the city pioneer’s burial place, said Bret Lunsford, education coordinator at Anacortes Museum.

A major clue can be found in a quote that historians say immortalized Havekost’s final wish: “Make my tomb a park.”

Lunsford and Washington Park Manager Bob Vaux led a history hike and a dedication of the new Havekost Loop Trail on Saturday. The day’s events also celebrated the centennial of the naming of Washington Park.

Vaux said the event was a way to thank the generations of people who have been stewards of Anacortes’ public land, including many visitors to the park who have spent countless hours maintaining the trails that sprawl through its 220 acres.

“We have miles of beautiful trails throughout the park,” Vaux said. “There’s a lot of subtle things that people do to make a difference.”

The Havekost Loop Trial, nearly a quarter-mile long, is the park’s latest addition.

It honors Havekost, a German immigrant who settled on Fidalgo Island in 1871.

Havekost donated eight acres of his land to the city of Anacortes upon his death in 1911. The land would eventually become Washington Park.

Lunsford said Havekost’s decision to bequeath land to the city defined the personalities of many early settlers in Anacortes.

Hikers walked Saturday along a forested trail on the way to the Havekost Monument, with Lunsford and Vaux pausing periodically to share historical information.

Charles Havekost of Bellingham, a great-great-nephew of Tonjes Havekost, said he remembers coming to visit the monument with his father many times over the years.

His son, Ken Havekost of Whidbey Island, said he came to the centennial event to learn more about his late relative’s settlement in Anacortes and his contributions to the community.

“I was here mainly to hear the stories,” Ken Havekost said.

Lunsford said it’s still a mystery as to whom or what the park is named after.

It could be in honor of the park’s home state, or possibly for the first president of the United States. But Lunsford said public documents and newspaper articles from 1915 don’t share a reason.

“No one ever brought it up among the people who were living here at the time,” he said.

Reporter Evan Marczynski: 360-416-2149, emarczynski@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Evan_SVH, Facebook.com/EvanReports

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