Masonic & Laurel Grove Cemeteries

May 1, 2004

Twelve of us met at 9:00 at Hope Abbey to hear Karen Seidel talk about the history and character of the Masonic Cemetery. She gave us an interesting tour of the inside of the Mausoleum which was dedicated in 1914. She explained that the architect, Ellis Lawrence, chose Egyptian Revival style for the building. As we walked around the cemetery, Karen shared anecdotes and other facts that she had gleaned in her extensive research. We saw the monuments for Eugene Skinner (where Eugene got its name), John Whiteaker (the first governor), Maude Kerns (artist), Thomas Hendricks (donated land for Hendricks Park), John Thompson (investigated fraud in the state administration), and John Wesley Johnson (first president of the U of O). Other famous pioneer names were Condon, Campbell, McMurry, Chambers, Kincaid, Dillard, Harlow, Patterson and Bristow. Collier, John Day, Yoran and Scott were names that reminded us of places where we have hiked and climbed.

Karen also pointed out the Woodsmen of the World monument. WOW was a fraternal organization who held their meetings in what is now the WOW Hall. Through an insurance program, they provided monuments for their members. There were two students from the U of O journalism class who were filming for a class project. They interviewed the Lodewicks who live adjacent to the cemetery. We were impressed with the amount of work that the association has done to improve the cemetery and to provide so many informative signs about the history and plants. We felt fortunate to have Karen as our guide.

Around 10:30, Jane, Bob and Janet started on the hike to Laurel Grove Cemetery on the East side of I-5 near the Glenwood intersection. At that cemetery which was started by the Oddfellows, we saw another Woodsmen monument plus monuments for Briggs and Pengra. It was a quick and warm hike back to the cars.

Participants were: Pema Chhophyel, Bob & Pat Dark, Jack & Joella Ewing, Jane Hackett, Bob Huntley, John Jacobsen, Ken & Robin Lodewick, John & Lenore McManigal, Karen Seidel, and Janet Jacobsen, leader.

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