October 31, 2008
Seven Obsidians showed up in raingear for this Friday hike to
Gillespie Butte, a natural area with old oak habitat right in the
middle of Eugene. Mercifully, the rain turned to a drizzle soon after
we started. Still, clouds hugged the valley floor, making it impossible
for us to enjoy the panorama with views of Skinner and Spencer buttes.
A few of us were disappointed to note that someone had removed the
“Legacy Tree” plaque, which designated that the butte’s stand of white
oaks ranges in age from 100 to 250 years old. On the butte’s north
side, we spent a bit of time wandering around the pioneer cemetery,
named after The Rev. Jacob Gillespie, who settled on the butte and
began maintaining the cemetery in the late 1850s. We noted several
other names prominent in Eugene history too, including Young,
Goodpasture, Ayers and Armitage. Joining Chris Cunningham were Myron
Cook, Donna Halker, Dick Hildreth, Margaret Prentice, Moshe Rapaport
and Barb Sutherland.