Lone Fir Cemetery records, 1866-1974  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Lone Fir Cemetery (Portland, Or.)
Title
Lone Fir Cemetery records
Dates
1866-1974 (inclusive)
1866-1935 (bulk)
Quantity
6 cubic feet, (6 document cases, 8 flat boxes, 1 custom box)
Collection Number
Mss 2010
Summary
Records of one of the oldest cemeteries in Portland, Or. Includes articles of incorporation and board meeting minutes of the Lone Fir Cemetery Corporation; lot and block books; and extensive notes and data on deaths, burials, and lot sales, compiled by J. J. Goodwin. Also includes deed to Tideman Johnson plot.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Lone Fir Cemetery, the oldest existing cemetery in Portland, Oregon, is situated between SE Morrison Street, Stark Street, 20th Avenue, and 26th Avenue. It began in the 1840s as a single grave on a pioneer land grant. This grave was occupied by Mr. Emmor Stephens, who died in 1846. His son, James B. Stephens, sold the farm in 1854 to Colburn Barrell, a shipbuilder, under the agreement that he would maintain Emmor Stephen’s grave site. Later that year, Mr. Barrell’s partner, Crawford Dobbins, died in a steamship explosion. This tragedy prompted Mr. Barrell to turn 10 acres of the farm into a cemetery which he named Mount Crawford in honor of his deceased partner. The following year, Barrell purchased 10 adjacent acres. Two additional purchases were made in 1865 and 1866, bringing the total area of the cemetery to its present-day size of 30 acres.

Barrell felt that the cemetery belonged under the public’s control and offered to sell it to the City of Portland, but the offer was declined. As a result, Mount Crawford was bought by a private group, including Byron P. Cardwell, Robert Pittock, and Levi Anderson. That year, the new owners of the cemetery opted to change the name to Lone Fir Cemetery because of a solitary tree standing on the site. The new name was devised by Mrs. Amelia Barrell.

In tandem with Portland’s population growth, Lone Fir’s population began to grow as well, and its new inhabitants reflected the diversity of Portland’s residents in the late 1800’s. Grave markers’ inscriptions reveal a various ethnic groups including German, Swedish, and French settlers. Also recorded are a significant number Chinese and Japanese people. Some of the earliest burials were of Oregon governors George Law Curry and William Wallace Thayer, and Portland founders Asa L. Lovejoy and Daniel H. Lownsdale.

By 1928, the cemetery had deteriorated, and the state of Oregon granted the property to Multnomah County. In 1947, the county decided to use the western end of the cemetery as the site of a new County building, and 265 graves were subsequently exhumed. Multnomah County relinquished control of the cemetery to the Metropolitan Services District (Metro), but maintained possession of the adjacent County building. This building was closed in 2002 and plans were made to sell the site. But in 2004 human remains were discovered under a parking lot, and it was thought that these were Chinese burials which had gone unrecorded.

The following information was provided by J. J. Goodwin to the Oregon Historical Society on May 20, 1953: the Portland Bureau of Health was established in 1881, and has no records previous to that time. When Multnomah County took over Lone Fir Cemetery in 1928, the sexton's records were turned over to the County Clerk. But such records as were kept by the first sexton, Pat Kiernan, 1866-1881, were kept in the family, and held by his daughter, Mrs. Cason; these are now scattered or destroyed. Records of the second sexton, Albert Johnson, 1881-1886, were also kept in his family. The city firemen's association probably has complete records of their burials in Lone Fir. The Masons should also have a record. There are about 23,000 recorded burials in Lone Fir, and 30 acres. All graves are numbered from the north end. "H" indicates half grave (baby).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of two distinct sets of records: the notes, data and transcriptions compiled by J. J. Goodwin, probably in the 1930s and 1940s; and original records of Lone Fir Cemetery itself, dating from 1866 to 1935. Also included are a few items from other sources, such as a brochure and a deed to a family plot.

The bulk of the collection consists of J. J. Goodwin's drawings and notations on cemetery plats, and records of burials, deaths, and removals. The cemetery plats are both photostats and line drawings, as well as a large series of 67 notebooks. The notebooks include random notes about particular grave sites, such as details about the deceased, age, sex, cause of death, etc.

Also among the Goodwin materials are records of deaths, burials, and removals taken from a variety of sources that include: sextons records, surface records (grave markers), the Health Bureau, the Count Clerk’s Office, and various newspapers. Not all the people mentioned in these records were buried in Lone Fir Cemetery. Of note are two notebooks (Goodwin vols. 61 and 62) containing lists of Japanese burials, and a list of soldier burials, probably from the Civil War.

The second series contains 11 volumes of original records of Lone Fir Cemetery itself. These records were maintained by Multnomah County and given to the Oregon Historical Society in 1982, many years after the Goodwin materials were acquired. Included in the Lone Fir records are the articles of incorporation and minutes of meetings of the board of directors, as well as lot and block sale books. Volume 3 of this series includes some names of Chinese burials.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Lone Fir Cemetery records, Mss 2010, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1:  General records, 1866-1974Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Pamphlet for Lone Fir Cemetery
circa 1929
1/2
Legal Documents
Formerly part of Mss 2010-1
  • Property transfer deed from Barrell and Aurelia Colburn, 1866 (typescript copy)
  • Certification of cemetery plan, 1874 (typescript copy)
  • Resolution governing rules of cemetery, 1911
1866-1911
1/3
Deed to Tideman Johnson plot
Formerly Mss 2010-2. Includes letter of transmittal and copy of photograph of gravestone.
1890
1/4
Correspondence concerning vandalism at cemetery
Arthur C. Spencer III of the Oregon Historical Society correspondence with Donald Clark, Multnomah County Commissioner
1974 Aug.

Series 2:  Records compiled by J. J. GoodwinReturn to Top

Due to the varying sizes of the materials in this series, the physical arrangement of the items is not consecutive.
Container(s) Description Dates
Plats of cemetery
Box/Folder
7/1-2
Plats of cemetery (photostats)
Includes photostats of a few legal documents. Taken from records at the City Hall.
undated
7/3
Plats of cemetery (line drawings)
undated
Burial records
Lot and block numbers in these records can be traced in burial plats recorded in Goodwin volumes 1-57, listed below in sub-series "Burial plats: lot index of blocks."
Box/Folder
7/5
Burials, 1845-1946
Names of deceased, death dates, block and lot numbers. Not posted to Goodwin volume 58. Letters of alphabet together, not aphabetized. Written in ink. Taken from surface records.
undated
7/6
Burials, 1867-1929
Name, date, lot and block number. Most entries have been posted to Goodwin volume 58. In ink. Letters of alphabet together, not alphabetized. Typed. Taken from surface records. Goodwin was not sure whether the date is of death or burial.
undated
7/7
Burials, 1868-1881
Name, date, lot and block number. Copy of list kept by Pat Kiernan (first sexton from 1866-1881). Kiernan did not keep a record book, only memoranda and notes on scraps of paper. These were not passed on to the succeeding sexton, but to Kiernan's daughter Mrs. Cason. Goodwin made this copy of the notes, which are now lost. Arranged approximately by date. Typed.
undated
1/5
Burials
Name, date, space, lot and block number. Arranged by date.
1871; 1881; 1886
Box
8
Goodwin volume 58, burials 1877-1931
Name, date of burial, space, lot and block number, undertaker; unknown burials. Includes postings from box 7, folder 6; box 1, folder 6, followed by box 1, folder 7-10. Arranged first by letter of the alphabet, then by date of burial; i.e., "A"s, etc. arranged by date of burial instead of being alphabetized. Typed.Based on court house records, with additions from surface and other records. Names and initials of undertakers written in pencil in right hand margin.
undated
Box/Folder
1/6
Burials
Name, date, undertaker, space, lot and block number. Posted to Goodwin vol. 58. Letters of the alphabet together, not alphabetized. Penciled notebook. Taken from court house records.
1884-1890
7/8
Burials, 1892-1907, numbered graves only
Graves 15-118. Name, date of burial, and grave number. Arranged by number. Typed. 4 p. The numbers replaced wooden markers removed when the county took over the cemetery and cleaned it up. These are all listed in Goodwin vol. 57.
undated
5/4
Goodwin volume 59, burials 1908 Jan.-1819 Jan.
Name, date, age, address, cause of death, undertaker. Arranged by date. Penciled notebook.
undated
5/5
Goodwin volume 60, burials 1910 Feb.-June
Name, age, address, cause of death, undertaker. Arranged by date. Penciled notebook. Taken from Health Bureau records.
undated
1/7-10
Burials
Name, space, lot and block numbers. Arranged by date. Pencilled slips.
1931-1950 Apr.
7/9
Notes on burials, 1881-1927
Name, undertaker, space, lot and block numbers. Posted to Goodwin vol. 58. No order. Penciled notes. From county clerk's records, corrected by information from surface records when marked by X in red pencil.
undated
7/10
Burials—omissions, 1881-1927
Name, undertaker, space, lot and block number. Posted to Goodwin vol. 58. No order. Penciled notes. Some material omitted from Goodwin vol. 58.
undated
5/6
Goodwin volume 61, Japanese burials, 1900-1909
Name, date, age, cause of death, undertaker. Not in Goodwin vol. 58. Arranged by date (some out of order). Penciled notebook. Taken from Health Bureau records and private sources, including a Japanese association which marked the graves about 1932-1933.
undated
5/7
Goodwin volume 62, Japanese burials, 1897-1922
Name, lot number, some dates, many unknown. Arranged by lot number. Penciled notebook. A few are not Japanese. When crossed out, information has been transferred to Goodwin vol. 61. Taken from surface records.
undated
1/11
Burials—Soldiers, Civil War
Name, outfit, GAR post, some dates. Not all buried at Lone Fir. No order. Penciled notes, 6 leaves. Probably from surface records.
undated
Burial plats—Lot index of blocks
Diagrams of lots, showing name, birth and death dates or age and death date, owner of lot, changes in lot ownerships, removals (sometimes on opposite page), occasionally cause of death. More than one burial in grave indicated by additional slip pasted on plat.Lots outlined in red pencil had curbs around them; most of the curbs were removed after Goodwin made his survey of surface records.Blocks contain various numbers of lots. Arranged by block and lot number. Taken from surface records (tombstones, etc.); records in possession of Albert Johnson (sexton, 1881-1886); records from the Bureau of Health at the City Hall; and other sources.
Box/Folder
2/1
Goodwin volumes 1 & 2 (block 1, lots 1-51, 52-94)
undated
2/2
Goodwin volumes 3 & 4 (block 2, block 3 [Masonic])
undated
2/3
Goodwin volume 5 (block 4)
undated
2/4
Goodwin volumes 6 & 7 (block 6, lots 1-47, 48-90)
undated
2/5
Goodwin volumes 8, 9, 10 (block 7, lots 1-54, 55-90, 201-218 [Masonic])
undated
2/6
Goodwin volumes 11, 12, 13 (block 8, lots 1-50, 51-90, 201-218 and Masonic)
undated
2/7
Goodwin volumes 14 & 15 (block 9, lots 1-52, 53-90)
undated
2/8
Goodwin volume 16 (blocks 9-10 [Masonic])
undated
2/9
Goodwin volumes 17 & 18 (block 10, lots 1-54, 55-90, 201-218)
undated
3/1
Goodwin volumes 19 & 20 (block 11, lots 1-56, 57-90, 201-218)
undated
3/2
Goodwin volumes 21 & 22 (block 12, lots 1-41, 42-90, 201-218)
undated
3/3
Goodwin volumes 23 & 24 (block 13, lots 1-54, 55-90)
undated
3/4
Goodwin volume 25 (block 16, lots 1-50, 210, 211, 230, 231, 241-250, 252)
undated
3/5
Goodwin volumes 26 & 27 (block 17, sections 1-6; block 18, sections 1-6)
undated
3/6
Goodwin volume 28 (block 19, lots 1-50)
undated
3/7
Goodwin volumes 29 & 30 (block 20, lots 1-50, 201-213, 219-221, 230, 231, 240, 250; block 21, lots 1-50)
undated
3/8
Goodwin volumes 31 & 32 (block 22, lots 1-50; block 23 & 24 [Masonic Subdivision])
undated
3/9
Goodwin volumes 33 & 34 (block 25, lots 1-50, 51-100)
undated
3/10
Goodwin volumes 35 & 36 (block 26, lots 1-50, 201-210; block 27, lots 1-50)
undated
4/1
Goodwin volume 37 (block 28, lots 1-50, 201-210)
undated
4/2
Goodwin volume 38 (block 29, lots 1-50)
undated
4/3
Goodwin volumes 39 & 40 (block 30, lots 1-72; block 31, lots 1-72)
undated
4/4
Goodwin volumes 41 & 42 (block 32, lots 1-72, 201- 224, 225, 248, 249, 272; block 33, lots 1-72, 201-212, 222-225, 248, 249, 272)
undated
4/5
Goodwin volumes 43, 44, 45 (block 34, lots 1-71, 72-144, 201, 220, 221, 224, 225, 244, 248, 249, 272, 273, 296, 297)
undated
4/6
Goodwin volumes 46, 47, 48 (block 35, lots 1-70, 71-143, 144-192)
undated
4/7
Goodwin volumes 49 & 50 (block 36, lots 1-54, 55-96)
undated
4/8
Goodwin volumes 51 & 52 (block 37, lots 1-53, 53-96)
undated
5/1
Goodwin volumes 53 & 54 (block 38, lots 1-53, 54-96, 201-216)
undated
5/2
Goodwin volume 55 (block 39)
undated
5/3
Goodwin volume 56 ("West End Strip," lots 1-58)
undated
Box
15
Goodwin volume 57 (blocks A-E)
Includes Masonic, county, children's burials; postings on reverse of pages are beginning of another record and have no relation to this volume.
undated
Deaths
Taken from the Oregonian, Telegram and Standard, except as noted.
Box/Folder
5/8
Goodwin volume 63, deaths 1870-1871
Name, date, misc. information. Not all buried in Lone Fir. Arranged approximately by date. Penciled notebook. See also Goodwin vol. 65 below.
undated
7/11
Deaths, 1870-1904 (incomplete)
Includes 1870, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1879 (from city directory), 1881. [28] p. Also 1871-1904 mixed in no order (5 leaves). Date, name, cause of death, miscellaneous information. Not all buried in Lone Fir, but Lone Fir burials indicated in pencil. Arranged by date. Typed.
undated
5/9
Goodwin volume 64, deaths 1881-1920
Name, date, misc. information. Not all buried in Lone Fir. Also contains some notes on burials. No order. Penciled notebook.
undated
Lots
Box/Folder
7/12
Lots, 1881-1908
Name of deceased, date of burial, lot owners and sales, undertaker, lot location. No order. Penciled notes. From county clerk's records.
undated
7/13
Deeds to lots
Name of owner, date of purchase, price, space, lot and block number. Letters of the alphabet together, not alphabetized, A-P only.
undated
1/12
Owners of lots
Name of owner, lot and block numbers. Letters of the alphabet together, not alphabetized. Typed. From County Clerk's records.
undated
1/13
Owners of lots
Name, block and lot numbers, notations of sales. Arranged by block and lot number. Typed. From records of Albert Johnson, sexton, 1881-1886, and from recorded deed in county clerk's office, from surface records, especially curbs before they were torn out.
undated
5/10
Goodwin volume 65, lot book
List of lots in numerical order, with names of owners. Arranged by block and lot number. Also includes deaths of Jan.-March 1870. Penciled notebook. Probably surface records checked against county records.
undated
Removals
Box/Folder
7/14
Removals, 1881-1921, 1939
Includes 3 in 1939. Name of deceased, locations moved from and to, date of removal. No order. Penciled notes. Most of this information is in lot books, Goodwin vols. 1-57. From county records.
undated
7/15
Removals, 1881-1927
Name of deceased, locations moved from and to, dates of death and removal. No order. Typed. From county records.
undated
General materials
Box/Folder
Missing
Goodwin volume 66, Sexton's record
Undertaker, name of deceased, age, cause of death, location of grave, type of grave (single or double), size of box for enclosing casket, charges (for digging and lining grave, etc.). Not order. Notebook in ink. Original sexton's record, but notes in pencil were taken from Health Bureau records.
1905
5/11
Goodwin volume 67, Corrections to be made in Goodwin vol. 58
Cover title: "Wauna date book 1932." Errors, unrecorded changes, etc. No order. Penciled notebook. Information from various sources, including relatives, now transferred to Goodwin vol. 58.
undated

Series 3:  Original records from Lone Fir Cemetery, 1866-1935Return to Top

Originally designated Mss 2010-1. Received from Multnomah County Records Management Division, 1982.

Due to the varying sizes of these volumes, they are not physically arranged in consecutive order.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/1
Lone Fir volume 1: articles of incorporation; minutes of Board of Directors and stockholders meetings, Lone Fir Cemetery Company
1866-1928
Box
9
Lone Fir volume 2: Index of burials
1877-1935
10
Lone Fir volume 3: Index to lot and block books
1879-1928
Box/Folder
6/2
Lone Fir volume 4: lot and block book
1879 May-1884 Apr.
Box
11
Lone Fir volume 5: lot and block book
1884 May-1891 Jan.
Box/Folder
6/3
Lone Fir volume 6: lot and block book
1891 Feb.-1898 Feb.; 1911 June-Aug.
Box
12
Lone Fir volumes 7 & 8: lot and block books
1898 Mar.-1903 Dec.; 1904 Jan.-1909 Oct.
13
Lone Fir volumes 9 & 10: lot and block books
1909 Nov.-1928 May; undated
14
Lone Fir volume 11: lot and block sale log
1912-1928

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Cemeteries—Oregon—Portland
  • Registers of births, etc.—Oregon—Portland
  • Personal Names :
  • Goodwin, J. J. (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Lone Fir Cemetery (Portland, Or.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Multnomah County (Or.)—Genealogy
  • Multnomah County (Or.)—History
  • Portland (Or.)—Genealogy
  • Portland (Or.)—History
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Death records