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What’s the Deal With: The Burlington Cross?

Iconic feature commemorates death of 4-year-old boy

Perched atop a hill on the east side of Interstate 5, the nearly 60-year-old cross is lit to honor the loss of a loved one at the request of a friend or family member. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)
By Isaac Stone Simonelli Enterprise/Investigations Reporter

At night, the bright white lights of a large cross often cut through the fog and low clouds above Burlington. Perched atop a hill on the east side of Interstate 5, the cross can be a beacon of hope, a tribute to a lost family member or simply a reminder that you’re approaching town.

A bronze plaque at the base of the cross dedicates it to Marc Beaton, 1960–1964.

This April will mark 60 years since the death of the 4-year-old boy, who took a fatal tumble from a tree in his family’s yard on April 7, 1964. He died from his injuries three days later.

Before the cross was up on the hill, there was a tree capped with a star that was lit on Christmas and Easter season. It was replaced by a small cross in the 1940s, said Jimmy Lyons, president of the Burlington Firefighters Association, which maintains the cross.

The current cross was built in 1965, though it got a major remodeling with new paint and LED lights in 2016.

“It’s an amazing thing that’s stood the test of time,” Lyons said.

Traditionally, the cross is lit to honor the loss of a loved one at the request of a friend or family member. Requests can be made by emailing the association at Burlington.firefighters@gmail.com.


WTD is published online Mondays and in print Fridays. Have a suggestion for a "What's the Deal With?" inquiry? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

Isaac Stone Simonelli is CDN’s enterprise/investigations reporter; reach him at isaacsimonelli@cascadiadaily.com; 360-922-3090 ext. 127.


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