Saltese Cemetery

Saltese Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the valley. The name Saltese derives from the Coeur d'Alene Chief Andrew Seltice who sold this piece of land, known now as the Saltese Flats, to Daniel Courchaine in 1878. Burials began here as early as 1881 with the earliest birth date shown going all the way back to 1819. It is very likely that there were burials located here before 1881, but the graves would have been unmarked.

Daniel Courchaine is buried in the Saltese Cemetery. He built his home from lumber hauled in from the nearest mill in Walla Walla. The Courchaines were farmers, but their preferred interest was to raise cattle. Daniel donated land for the Saltese school to be built and was a founder of the Saltese Cemetery. He passed away after being kicked by a horse, but a monument was placed in front of the still standing house that he built, commemorating this early pioneer. Many of his descendants still live in Spokane Valley.

Cemeteries help us connect the present with the past. The weathered headstones offer a glimpse into pioneer life and migration into the Spokane Valley. This cemetery, however, is not neglected or forgotten. The Saltese Cemetery still stands today and continues to grow with the surrounding communities. Today the families of the Saltese Cemetery Association continue to maintain and improve the property. Saltese Cemetery is a pioneer cemetery which means that it is a burial place made available for individuals that participated in territorial expansion in the 18th through 20th centuries. Plots that are still available today are to only be sold to valley residents and their families so the burial sites can be cared for by the families. The cemetery features tall straw colored grass, sparsely laid pine trees, on an unlandscaped hillside with 19th century iron fencing still surrounding some of the older plots.