....that the earliest map of the cemetery in 1892 shows the main entrance on the west side of the cemetery? The cemetery was laid out in a symmetrical grid with one wide road leading from the west edge straight up the hill and ending at the top.
By the time of the next map in 1906, the straight road has been turned into cemetery plots, and a curving carriage road starting at the north west corner has been created. This is the entrance we still use today.
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery has available space for burials and cremations. Email Sally Dietrich (Click here) for more information. Or call 541 684-0949
Our maintenance and restoration work takes planning and it takes money. A significant portion of our revenue comes from the sale of plots and crypts, but that's not enough. We try to obtain volunteer and grant support as much as possible, but we need additional revenue to carry on this important work. For that, we have to rely on friends such as you to help.
We thank you for all your past support, and we ask you to be as generous as possible in supporting us now. Click here to donate.
Interested in volunteering with the Eugene Masonic Cemetery?
pre-Memorial Day annual work party (May 19th), and the Memorial Day celebration (May 26th and 27th)
Volunteer of the Year
Civic & Community
We're pleased to share with you that EMCA Board Member Karen Seidel was recently chosen as a Volunteer of the Year in the Civic and Community category.
Karen has been a pillar of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association for the past 20 years. Initially enlisted to research the lives of those buried in the cemetery prior to 1900, she quickly became a key board member and volunteer, serving as board secretary and producing the newsletter among other roles. Most of the historical signs throughout the cemetery, as well as several chapters in the book "Full of Life" are her work.
Karen has always loved to do research, especially as it relates to Eugene, past and present. Karen has played an outsized role in making the EMCA the effective organization it has become. It is high time she was recognized for her decades of contributions to Eugene in general, and to its oldest cemetery in particular.
Volunteer hours: About 12 a week; over 600 per year
Charles Wright, Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association
Memorial Day Activities
Coming up next month is Memorial Day, and the Eugene Masonic Cemetery has planned an activity-filled calendar. Keeping firmly in mind that the day was instituted as a way to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, we have several activities honoring that meaning. Here's a preview:
On Sunday and Monday, May 26th and 27th, Hope Abbey Mausoleum will be open at noon. Taps will be played as usual on the Public Square at noon. There will be a History Hunt for children and families.
Sunday's activities will feature "Brass on the Grass", a 30-piece British style brass band on the Public Square immediately after Taps.
Monday afternoon will feature two cemetery related tours.
In a departure from the past, Hope Abbey Mausoleum will not be open on Saturday, May 25th, nor will there any planned activities that day. The cemetery grounds, of course, are open to all for visiting and there will be American flags flying over veteran's graves.
Both Sunday and Monday will have complimentary coffee and cake in Hope Abbey. More detailed information about Memorial Day weekend will be in the May issue of this newsletter.
160 Years of History
Where should documents describing 160 years of history be stored?
Since 1994, when a determined group of Eugene residents decided to bring the long-neglected Eugene Masonic Cemetery back to good condition, documents and other items from the early years of the cemetery and documents from the renovation years of 1994 to the present have been stored in many places.
Some historic documents and objects are safe in a closet in Hope Abbey, a building that is not going to burn. Many other documents from the renovation years have been stored in the home offices of members of the cemetery Board. Other materials, including Board minutes, were stored in the small wooden Cottage, where fire was always a possibility. Financial records have been stored safely in "the cloud" for several years.
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association's board decided in 2018 to look for safer storage for all of this history. Board member Alex Brokaw and administrator/sexton Sally Dietrich found a building that has locked storage units in its fireproof basement.
Board members searched their home offices for documents that should be saved for posterity. Archivist Dina Wills packed boxes with documents, books, and pictures that were stored in the Cottage or in Board members' home offices. Two strong men with a truck carried those historical records of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery to the new storage space, where they are being filed so that people will be able to find them in future years. A record of what is stored, and where. is being kept in a notebook. One hundred and sixty years of history is now in a safer space.
Dina Wills, EMCA Board member and Archivist
Music To Die For 2019
The 9th season of
Music To Die For begins in June. Here are some highlights of the coming season. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.
June 30: Clefs of Insanity
July 28: String Quartet from Eugene/Springfield Youth Orchestra
August 25: Plum Lucky with Diane Dugaw & Friends
September 29: David Gross with David Bersch
October 27: TBA
All performances are held in Hope Abbey Mausoleum on the grounds of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery, located at 26th & Potter. They begin at 2 PM on the dates listed. Parking is essentially non-existent on the grounds. Please park on city streets.
Available seats fill quickly, so come early.
John Bredesen, eNewsletter Editor Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association
Our Mission Statement is "To restore, rehabilitate, maintain, interpret and operate the historic Eugene Masonic Cemetery and Hope Abbey Mausoleum as a cultural and natural resource for the community."