Real People, Real Places,
A Self-Guided Tour of Eugene Pioneer Cemetery
At rest in this Cemetery are ordinary people who left a legacy. Men and women of their respective eras, each one has in some way shaped the community we enjoy today. We share their life stories so visitors can:
Cherish the Past,
Look to the Future, and
Live in the Moment.
Oregon became a United States Territory in 1848. It was granted statehood in 1859. Between those times and the present were the real heroes, the rugged and individualistic pioneers who came to Oregon by difficult wagon trains over great prairies and mountain distances. Many of them chose Eugene Pioneer Cemetery for their final resting place and that of their families. They are not just “dead, dry” history that has no meaning today. The stories of their lives and their contributions which made Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, and our nation what they are today continue to speak for them.
In the 1800’s and early 1900’s when a loved one passed away the tradition was to plant a rose from the family home on their grave. Individual rose bushes in our Cemetery date back 60, 80, or even 100 years. Heritage roses are noted for their splendor and for the abundant fragrance produced by their blooms. Since identifying specific varieties of heritage roses is quite difficult, we use the family’s name as our identifier. Master Gardiners have taken cuttings from the heritage roses and grown rose starts; new plants from old. Preserving the cemetery’s heritage roses is preserving history – one rose at a time!
Tour points are listed in sequential order starting at the Kiosk in Memorial Square (see Cemetery map). However, it is your tour ─ YOU get to pick and choose which points to visit!
Ruth Lake Holmes, September 20, 1918 – November 27, 2012, was Secretary-Treasurer of Eugene Pioneer Cemetery for more than 50 years.
Enjoy this video that captures the sights, sounds and unique history of the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery.