Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gray Butte Cemetery

Yesterday on our trip to see the Haystack Reservoir I told you we passed two interesting spots that I thought deserved further exploring.  Today I will show you the first one we went by, and that is the Gray Butte Cemetery.

What we thought was so interesting about this was first of all it's a very tiny spot, probably about a half acre.  It's in the middle of nowhere.  We thought maybe there were a lot of farms in the area at one time but now it's mostly part of the Crooked River National Grasslands. Then as we walked through the cemetery we noticed how old most of the markers were.  The thought occurred to us that these were the pioneers of the area.

There were a lot of young people, many babies. "BABY BOY LAMSON   D 1901"

This one is hard to read but it says "JENKINS TWIN BABIES".  There is no date.

"THOMAS LEO  Son of W. G & S. J. ROGERS  Died June 18, 1895 Aged 11 y's 3 m's 18 d's" Over the top is the bible scripture of Luke 18:16, "Suffer little children to come unto me."



Some graves just had little markers like this. "JAMES EVAN(??) WHIT(??) Born NOV 21 (?) 1966 (?) Died AUG 23, 1980 (?) Age 13  UNGER FUNERAL CHAPEL-SILVERTON, OREGON"  Notice the dried out rose laid next to the marker.

A few of the graves were a bit fancier with cement covers.

I didn't know it when I took this picture, but I think this may be the first grave from this cemetery. Click here for the link.  It's really hard to tell but you can see it says "HARRY B. SON OF J.S. & E. (?) McMEEN SEP. 8, 1887  NOV. 20, 1890". Sadly, another young child. 

Here's a couple of sites that I found interesting too.  Charles and Hazel Shown, with their birth and death dates.  Between their names and under their surname is their wedding date of June 6, 1926.

Just to the left of that marker is this one, obviously their son, born 17 months after they married, died at age 80.

Here's a view of the cemetery from the north end looking south towards the entrance.

These were also quite interesting. I didn't get the family name but they are all related and their markers looked like chess pieces to me.

Some people may think this is morbid or weird but I found it both soothing and sad.  I felt sad for the parents who lost their young children.  After all we are supposed to die before they do.  And at the same time I was comforted knowing that this is just the end of mortal life on this earth and we will see our loved ones again when it's our turn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I use to walk around Alta Mesa Cemetery all the time, I would read the names and dates. I never found it morbid, of course sad, but I thought it a bit comforting in a way that one day I would be there with my family.
How unusual the Leo headstone tipped up on a corner, looked so modern. Then the Shown family all out in the middle of nowhere, must have been very close to their home at some point. Beautiful pictures.