Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association eNewsletter
Hope Abbey Mausoleum

What's In This Issue?
Monument Stones
Music To Die For
Winter Storm Damage
Memorial Day Plans
Did You Know?  
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association is a largely volunteer run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is an operating cemetery meaning burials still occur.
It is controlled by a Board of Directors with 13 volunteer members, who employ an Administrator/Sexton, and three landscapers who care for the 10 acres.
There are over  2 1/2 miles of maintained walking trails open to the public, even though the property is privately owned.  
Burial Space

The Eugene Masonic Cemetery has available space for burials and cremations. Email Sally Dietrich, our Administrator/Sexton, at for more information. Or call 541 684-0949
Please Contribute

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. Please  click here to donate.
We thank you for for all your past support, and we ask you to be as generous as possible in supporting us now.   

Why are Stones Placed on Jewish Graves?

For thousands of years, people have used rocks or stones of varying sizes in their burial rituals and traditions, whether to cover a deceased body or to mark the burial site in order to locate it later. Special to Jewish tradition, however, is the custom of placing pebbles, stones and small rocks on Jewish graves to memorialize the individual who has died.

Mourners visiting the gravesite of a loved one might place a stone or a pebble obtained beforehand from someplace of significance to the visitor/or the deceased. It is not uncommon to see a few pebbles or a large collection of rocks from visitors (family, friends and loved ones) who honor the deceased with their presence.

It is likely that the custom of placing small rocks on Jewish graves originated because flowers, plants and other organic materials quickly wither or decompose. Rock or stone symbolizes the lasting permanence and legacy of the deceased in the hearts and minds of survivors.

Some people from other religious faiths have begun to leave stones on tombstones and gravesites they visit as they find this tradition an effective way to affirm their emotional and spiritual bond with a deceased loved one.
Music To Die For


The 9th season of Music To Die For is beginning to take shape as performers commit to the music series. Not all performance dates have been filled, but here are some highlights of the coming season. More information will be  forthcoming as it becomes available.

June 30: Clefs of Insanity

July 28: TBA

August 25: Plum Lucky with Diane Dugaw & Friends

September 29: David Gross

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.
Winter Storm Damage Work Party

So much for accurate weather predictions. Just a couple days before the Eugene area snowstorm, the weather forecast was saying Portland would get snow, but only a slight accumulation for Eugene. We saw how that turned out.

Like the ice storm of a few years back, the sheer weight of the precipitation caused significant damage to trees, power lines and other things in the surrounding area, including the grounds of the Masonic Cemetery. For a while following the storm, visitors were warned about the possibility of falling branches and cautioned to stay away for a while.
After the snow and ice had melted, help was needed to move fallen material off the monuments and trails. A work party of three staff and eight volunteers was held on the 22nd of March. Testimony to their work can be seen in the piles of large branches and brush gathered into heaps around the cemetery. As EMCA board member Caroline Forell put it, "We hauled a lot of logs and brush into huge piles. We worked hard and had fun!"
Memorial Day Weekend Open House

The Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association has again planned an activity-filled celebration in honor of this important national holiday. It's still a couple months away, but here's a short list of some of those activities. Please note that this year, Hope Abbey will NOT be open on the Saturday preceding Memorial Day.

Do note this year the addition of a special musical performance on Sunday in ethe Public Square immediately following taps at noon.

Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27

Gates open at 11:30 am
(Hope Abbey will be closed on Saturday this year)

Sunday, May 26 "Brass on the Grass"

The Oregon Brass Society, a 30-piece band, will perform starting at 12:10. You're invited to bring a picnic and a blanket!

Monday, May 27

Two guided tours:
Tour #1 features the cemetery's native landscape starting in the Public Square at 12:10
Tour #2 features cemetery highlights starting at 1:30 in front of Hope Abbey

Both days:

Taps at 12:00 noon in the Public Square
Flags will be flying over veterans' graves
History Hunt for children and families, with prizes
Various displays featured in Hope Abbey including an historic "picnic" dress
Cake and coffee served in Hope Abbey
Our Mission Statement says our purpose 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."

It is operated for the public benefit, but it is private property.

John Bredesen, eNewsletter Editor
Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association