Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association eNewsletter
Hope Abbey Mausoleum

In This Issue
Music To Die For
Wiley Griffith
Kay Holbo Award
Did You Know?
There was a time when this historic cemetery was overgrown with weeds and plagued by vandals. In 1993, a group of energetic people set out to rescue it. Masonic Lodge No. 11, the City of Eugene, and some local citizens formed a steering committee to develop a plan of action for its future. From this, the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association was born.
Music To Die For
The popular Music To Die For music series will resume in June, 2017. It can't practically be continued during the colder months because there is no heat in the mausoleum.


Consider making a contribution through PayPal, available on our website. When you click below, you'll be taken to the EMCA website, where you can access the PayPal donate button. Help us preserve this important part of Eugene's history. Thank you. 



Wiley Griffon
By Roz Slovic

Wiley Griffon (1867-1913) was one of Eugene's first black citizens. He arrived in Eugene in 1890 with a Mr. Holden who established a mule driven streetcar system, Eugene's first form of public transportation. Griffon was the driver and, eventually, in the owner's absence, he ran the operation. When the streetcars ceased operating around 1900, he worked as a janitor for the University of Oregon, a construction worker, a train porter and a cook. He owned a home on the bank of the Millrace.
Lane Community College instructor, Mark Harris, his wife Cheri Turpin and the LCC Black Student Union spent 15 years doing research and raising money to place a beautiful basalt monument that has Wiley Griffon's history engraved on it on the grave at the Eugene Masonic Cemetery where Griffon is buried. This effort was part of a larger project "I Too Am Eugene" a multicultural history endeavor that seeks to build awareness of Eugene's cultural diversity. Mark Harris and Black Student Union officers ,Cemetery board members, and members of the Eugene community participated in a ceremony in June of 2013 (?) in Hope Abbey and at the grave site commemorating Wiley Griffen and his place in Eugene's history.
If you would like to visit this monument, you will find it down the path from the Memorial Overlook (scatter garden)

Kay Holbo Award
Recently, The Lane County Historical Society held it's annual meeting. One of the agenda items was a Lifetime Achievement Award to EMCA's founder and past president, Kay Holbo, in the Excellence in History category.
Kay has been an active participant in our community for many years, most notably with our cemetery. In the early 1990s, Kay was instrumental in the creation of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association, to assume ownership and operation of the historic property, and served for many years as Board President. Her leadership provided the guidance needed to begin the rescue and rehabilitation of both the cemetery grounds and Hope Abbey Mausoleum. Recognition is not unknown to Kay. She had also received a Heritage Excellence Award from the Oregon Heritage Commission for her contribution to the restoration of an Oregon historic cemetery in 2013.
Kay has retired from active involvement, leaving the cemetery in the hands of a great new president and Board of Directors. But we know where to turn when an obscure question needs answering!
Thank you Kay!
John Bredesen
eNewsletter Editor