Lone Fir Cemetery
Gravestone of James B. and Elizabeth Stephens, donors of the land for Lone Fir
|Size||30.5 acres (12.3 ha)|
|Number of graves||25,000+|
Portland Historic Landmark
|Location||2115 SE Morrison Street
|Architectural style||Late Gothic Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||07000824|
|Added to NRHP||August 16, 2007|
Lone Fir Cemetery in the southeast section of Portland, Oregon, United States is a cemetery owned and maintained by Metro, a regional government entity. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first burial was in 1846 with the cemetery established in 1855. Lone Fir has over 25,000 burials spread over more than 30 acres (120,000 m2).
The original land owner, James B. Stephens purchased a land claim extending from the east bank of the Willamette River to present day Southeast 23rd and from Stark Street to Division Street. J.B. Stephens’ father Emmor Stephens died shortly after the Stephens family arrived to Oregon in 1846 and was buried on the family farm. In 1854, Stephens sold the land to Colburn Barrell, with the caveat that he maintain Emmor’s gravesite. Barrell owned a steamboat the Gazelle, which in 1884 exploded near Oregon City killing a passenger and Barrell’s business partner Crawford Dobbins. Barrel then set up a cemetery by setting aside 10 acres (40,000 m2) and burying the casualties of the explosion at the site of Emmor Stephens, calling it Mt. Crawford. Plots at the cemetery were then sold for $10 with 20 acres (81,000 m2) additional being added to Lone Fir by 1866. That year Barrel offered to sell the cemetery to the city of Portland for $4,000, but the city declined and instead Barrell sold it to a group of a group of Portland families and plotholders. The cemetery was then renamed the cemetery to Lone Fir, which was suggested by Colburn Burrell’s wife, Aurelia, as there was only a single fir tree at the site.
In 1903, a $3,500 memorial to the soldiers of the Indian Wars, Mexican-American War, the American Civil War, and the Spanish-American War was built at the cemetery. The Soldier’s Monument was paid for by donations by over 500 citizens. Then in 1928 Multnomah County took over control and maintenance of Lone Fir. In 1947 the county paved part of the cemetery and later constructed a building on the site. This was the location of many Chinese graves, which were removed the next year. In 2004 it was discovered that more graves likely remained at the site. In 2005 city leaders proposed removing the government building that was constructed over the graves of these Chinese immigrants and re-connecting that portion with the main cemetery; it was removed in August 2007. In January 2007 Metro took over control of this section of the cemetery after a transfer from the county. On August 16, 2007, the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Currently the cemetery is located between Stark Street on the north and Morrison Street to the south, with Southeast 20th Avenue bounding on the west and Southeast 26th on the east. Lone Fir covers 30.5 acres (123,000 m2) and has over 25,000 graves, with over 10,000 of those unknown due to poor maintenance. It is home to the Pioneer Rose Garden.
- Eliza Barchus (1857–1959), landscape painter
- J. A. Chapman (1821–1855), Mayor of Portland
- William Williams Chapman (1808–1892), U.S. Representative from Iowa Territory
- George Edward Cole (1826–1906), postmaster of Portland, Territorial Governor of Washington
- George Law Curry (1820–1878), Governor of Oregon Territory and U.S. Senator
- Thomas J. Dryer (1808–1879), first editor of The Oregonian
- Melvin Clark George (1849–1933), U.S. Representative
- J.C. Hawthorne, founder of Oregon Hospital for the Insane
- Frederick Van Voorhies Holman, attorney and city promoter
- Harry Lane (1855–1917), Mayor of Portland, U.S. Senator
- Asa Lovejoy (1808–1882), delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention
- Earl Riley, mayor of Portland
- Henry S. Rowe, mayor of Portland
- Samuel L. Simpson, poet
- William Wallace Thayer (1827–1899), Governor of Oregon, Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
- Socrates H. Tryon, namesake for Tryon Creek State Natural Area
- Anti-Chinese violence in Oregon
- Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery
- River View Cemetery (Portland, Oregon)
- A House, A Home (A song and film inspired by James C. Hawthorne and his patients buried at Lone Fir Cemetery.)
- Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2014), Historic Landmarks -- Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Metro. "Friends of Lone Fir". Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- A Brief History of Lone Fir Cemetery. Multnomah County. Retrieved on March 2, 2008.[dead link]
- "Parking lot may lie atop cemetery". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. 2004-11-18. Retrieved 2003-03-02.
- Leaders push plan to fix historic Lone Fir cemetery. Portland Online. Retrieved on March 2, 2008.
- Nakamura, Motoya (August 16, 2005). "Demolition begins new chapter at Morrison Building site". The Oregonian.
- Oppenheimer, Laura. Metro takes over lost, historic section of Lone Fir cemetery. The Oregonian, January 5, 2007.
- Register of Historic Places: National Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/13/07-8/17/07, registry number 07000824. National Park Service. Retrieved on August 31, 2007.
- History in bloom. The Oregonian, May 24, 2007.
- Kestenbaum, Lawrence (2008-06-16). "Multnomah County, Oregon". The Political Graveyard. Ann Arbor. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- Some Interesting Burial Facts. Lone Fir Cemetery. Retrieved on March 2, 2008.
- "Search cemetery records". Metro Regional Government. 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lone Fir Cemetery.|
- Metro Pioneer Cemetery Program
- Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery
- Lone Fir Cemetery: famous names at Find a Grave
- Willamette Week: Portland's most interesting residents don't walk the streets. At least you'd better hope they don't.
- Interesting burials at Lone Fir
- History in stone: Metro's pioneer cemeteries are filling up and wearing out - The Oregonian