The original Saint Rose Cemetery was established in 1853 near the mouth of Yellowhawk Creek southeast of the Frenchtown site. In 1863, a second cemetery was established in the vicinity of the Frenchtown Historic Site along the banks of the Walla Walla River. Due to flooding, burials from that cemetery were later moved up the hill on the historic site to establish the final Saint Rose Cemetery on January 10, 1876. The site of this final cemetery was sold into private hands and the wooden markers were lost. In 2005, the Frenchtown Historic Foundation acquired the land and restored the marble obelisk, but the exact locations of the graves remain a mystery.
The last of the 17 recorded burials on Yellowhawk Creek was on February 3, 1856. The interred were all Native Americans who had converted to the Catholic faith. The exact location of that cemetery has not been identified.
In the second St. Rose cemetery, church records show 18 burials between 1863 and 1875, including Canadians of French descent, Métis, and Native Americans.
Fifty-seven new burials were recorded at the final Saint Rose Cemetery on the hill at Frenchtown from 1876-1893, primarily French-Canadians associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Walla Walla, their Indian, French, and Métis wives and descendants. Burials are reported to have been made there through 1912.
Although the burial markers are long gone, we have compiled lists of the burials using Catholic church records, which we then cross-referenced with genealogical sources and family histories. This list is a work in progress, and we welcome your input. Click here to view.