Masonic and Pioneer Cemeteries

April 30, 2005

On an overcast, but agreeable day, thirteen people gathered at the Hope Abbey Mausoleum in the Masonic Cemetery in Eugene. Karen Seidel, a member of the Obsidians and a docent for the Cemetery, gave us a tour of the inside of the Mausoleum, which was built in 1913. Ellis Lawrence, the architect, featured bronze doors, a marble interior and large urns in the Egyptian Revival style popular at that time. Established in 1859, the Masonic Cemetery is the oldest official burial place in Eugene. Karen then took us on a walking tour around the cemetery pointing out some of the monuments for Eugene F. Skinner (the city’s founder), John Whiteaker (first governor of Oregon), John Wesley Johnson (first president of the U of O), and Thomas Condon (geologist and discoverer of the John Day Fossil Beds.) Others included Maude Kerns (artist), Felix and Ellen Scott (Scott Mt., Scott Lake, Scott Pass), T. G. Hendricks (banker, mayor, Hendricks Park), Friendly, Chambers, Seavey and many other well-known pioneer names that are familiar to us. We also saw a Woodsmen of the World monument. WOW was a fraternal organization that provided monuments for the widows of its members. The organization held its meetings in WOW Hall but surprisingly it had nothing to do with the forest or lumber industry. In 1914, when the Oregon Electric Station was completed, many people traveled the three miles to the cemetery on the trolley at a cost of 5 cents. Karen was a wonderful guide bringing much of Eugene’s past history alive with many stories about Eugene’s pioneers. After the tour, Jane, Rick, Margit, Jim, and Sharon walked along University St. to the Pioneer Cemetery on 18th St., which was originally known as the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Established in 1873, this cemetery is one of the three oldest cemeteries in Eugene and is also the largest. After a pleasant stroll through the cemetery, we returned to the Abbey by way of Potter St. Participants were: Tom Adamcyk, Rick Ahrens, Suzanne Clark, Jim Duncan, Sharon Duncan (report writer), Sheri Engelbert, Corinne Engelbert, Jane Hackett, Margit Hollerud, John Jacobsen (leader), Stephen Morrison, Ginny Reich, Karen Seidel (guide).

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