Eerie mausoleum mimics dead family’s dining table – with ashes in the chairs
The creepy memorial is the final resting place of John S. McMillin as well as his wife, children, and employee
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise…in the form of a highly unusual mausoleum.
The 1930s memorial in San Juan County, Washington, is the final resting place of businessman John S. McMillin, his wife and children, and one of the family’s employees.
Mausoleums commonly boast ornate columns and imposing gates but at ‘Afterglow Vista’, you can quite literally pull up a chair and join the family’s table.
The memorial can be accessed by following a woodland trail through a set of impressive wrought iron gates topped with the words ‘Afterglow Vista’.
There you will be greeted by two sets of stairs that lead to an open air rotunda, and most eerily, a round limestone and concrete table surrounded by six stone chairs.
The chair bases serve as crypts for the ashes of the McMillin family and inscribed on the backs of them are the corresponding names of each individual laid to rest. The memorial chairs are arranged in the same order as the families dined in for decades around the striking table.
The McMillin family mausoleum was built by John S. McMillan who was a lawyer, businessman and political figure. He commissioned the structure as a memorial for his family, themed around the things that he believed, including symbols from masonry, the Bible and the Sigma Chi fraternity.
The stairs represent the steps within masonic order. The steps on the east side of the mausoleum stand for the spiritual life of man and the winding in the path symbolises how the future cannot be seen.
The stairs were constructed in sets of three, five and seven mirroring the three stages of manhood – youth, manhood and age. Five represents the five orders of architecture (Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite).
As for seven, this references the seven liberal arts and sciences (Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Music, Arithmetic, Geometry and Astronomy).
The columns were crafted in order to be the same size as those in King Solomon’s temple. The intentionally broken column represents the broken column of life – the belief that man dies before his work is completed.
Construction commenced in 1930 and was completed in 1936, costing about $30,000. McMillin had planned to include a bronze dome atop the structure and he had actually ordered the dome but his son, Paul, cancelled the order as at the time, the family company did not have the $20,000 that it would cost.
Thanks to the prevalence of TikTok, recent visitors have been documenting their trip to the mausoleum, enthralling audiences and drumming up further intrigue for the eerie structure.