Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association eNewsletter
Hope Abbey Mausoleum

In This Issue
Music To Die For
Did You Know?
Streetcar service began in Eugene in 1891. It soon had four different lines in service. The Fairmount line crossed the very NE part of the cemetery and brought people to the Public Square for picnics and other events. Remains of the track can still be seen on Columbia Street.
For more information, click here.


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. 



Music To Die For
July 30th, 2 PM Hope Abbey Mausoleum

    Buffalo Gals
Dianne Dugaw & Rachel Marcotte

Their music and songs bring audiences into old dance halls, back porches, summer gatherings, and now a mausoleum. Both Dianne and Rachel grew up in musical families. Dianne sang for years with Rachel's parents, the late Will and Jean Marcotte, well known to Willamette Valley folk song lovers as OLD TIME NEWS. Rachel, of course, sang with Will and Jean long before that. Both Dianne & Rachel have played with various local bands including JUNE APPLE.  We welcome them to this season of Music To Die For!
Parking is extremely scarce on the cemetery grounds. Please park on Potter, or at the cemetery entrance at E 25th and University. Gates open  1pm for those who need assistance getting to the Abbey. Great acoustics. Arrive early to get a seat. The program begins at 2 PM and runs about an hour.
Here's the lineup for the rest of the season:
August 27th - Wild Hog in the Woods  Fun "Original Oregon string Band" music
September 24th - Unfortunately, Ensemble Primo Seicento, has had to cancel because of illness in the family of one of the members. In its stead, Ambassador Musicians from the Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras (ESYO) will play a variety of chamber music from the classical and popular repertoire. The group consists of advanced students from ESYO orchestras who volunteer to share their music with the community. From Mozart to The Beatles, come enjoy these amazing young musicians for an hour of delightful music!

For more information on this amazing organization, visit their website here.
October 29th - The Western Tanagers play acoustic music on string instruments and marimba, and try not to limit the style of the music they play. Their repertoire ranges from Appalachian to Cajun to Swedish fiddle tunes, with some early 50s pop music as well as some bluegrass and country. The band includes Jim Dotson, Alan Phillips, Sam Jones, John Hicks and Scoop McGuire. They try to make sure the audience has as good a time as they do.  
Marble Restoration & Crypt Cleaning
by Crystal Persi, Board President
--Cleaning debris from  
abandoned crypt--

As many of you know, we are in the midst of restoring the marble in Hope Abbey, a project funded with a generous gift from the Eugene Masonic Lodge. Step one of this project was to remove and polish all of the crypt and niche covers (technically called shutters) that had been damaged or previously been turned around. They had been reversed due to families removing the remains of their loved ones to place them in other cemeteries when the mausoleum was in the horrible state of disrepair.
All was going well with this project until we discovered that there was a great deal of rubble inside many of the crypts. With a bit of concern we examined the debris to determine what it was composed of. What we found was a lot of concrete (from the crypt "plugs"), and a few remnants of caskets and flower containers that were left behind when remains were exhumed.

Thanks to our two very brave volunteers, Merinda Persi and Perry Prochet, the clean out work of over 40 crypts was completed in one day. A few other volunteers showed up as well, but Perry and Merinda were the ones crawling into the vaults to remove all the rubble and debris. We saved some of the nicer casket adornments that were found in the rubble, and will display them as a part of the history of Hope Abbey and the cemetery.
The shutters have now been replaced and the crypts are ready for new internments and shutter engravings. We have quite a few available to sell if you know anyone who may be interested in being laid to rest in this beautiful historic building. Our next step with this restoration project is to replace the missing and damaged marble from other crypts, niches (cremains crypts), and ledges. This should be happening in mid July so watch for updates.

Brief History of Hope Abbey
From the EMCA Archives
by Sandra Ludeman, Board Member 

Hope Abbey, the imposing mausoleum in the Eugene Masonic Cemetery, continues to become its best former self. The newest restoration and renovation activities will be completed within the next few months: renovating the terrazzo floors and restoring the marble shutters on the crypts. These transformations will continue the process begun in 1995 to, as much as possible, preserve the mausoleum. As explained in the December 1995 Restoration Plan for the Masonic Cemetery and Hope Abbey Mausoleum, preservation means "protection and stabilization of the building, with a focus on maintenance and repair rather than extensive replacement..." As this work continues, it is helpful to remind our members of the history of "Oregon's best example of monumental Egyptian Revival architecture." 

While the present cemetery is owned by the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association (not affiliated with the present Masons), the plot of land was originally "bought" by the Masons in response to a request from the city in 1857 because it had no place of burial for the dead. The original idea was that the owners of the plots would maintain them. Over time the Lodge members found that this plan was not working nor, in many cases, were they collecting the necessary fees for the plots themselves. Several handwritten reports from various Lodge committees expressed concerns about the lack of revenue to maintain the cemetery. One report from 1879 states "Whereas the cemetery has been and is yet a continuous expense to the Lodge...we would therefore suggest the advisability of deeding the cemetery to some individual person and allow it to be conducted as a private enterprise.") That suggestion never came to fruition. Article Continued Here 
John Bredesen
eNewsletter Editor