Auntie Bridgett and I walked to the Lone Fir Cemetery the other day. It was the first time I’ve been there since the spring colors have arrived.
My goal, apart from visiting old friends, was to find the grave of Thomas J. Dryer, who was the original owner of the “Oregonian” newspaper. The Friends Of Lone Fir Cemetery website gave me his address… which section of the Cemetery he was in, and a map to show me where that was.
On our way to Mr. Dryer, we saw some lovely blooming trees and even a few rogue daffodils. The chestnut trees aren’t blooming yet, but give them time.
We visited Mr. Frush, a bartender much beloved for his generous pours and good nature in the very early days of Portland. An urn symbolizing his hospitality stands over his grave and near his family monument.
While staring at a 1901 map other day ( as I often do) I noticed a small neighborhood of Central East Portland labeled “Frush’s Square”. I haven’t been able to find out if this was indeed developed by our bar tending friend.
Near the tall monument to Dr. Hawthorne, we found this lovely statue on the grave of a little girl who passed away when she was only six. Her name was Ada Smith, daughter of Frederick and Lucinda. People have left her change, for some reason. Perhaps these caring folks thought she might like ice cream money.
Wandering around, we found the headstone for Hope and Chris Carter, decorated with a likeness of Klimt’s “The Kiss”. Hope is buried here, having passed at age 32, awaiting her beloved.
Finally, just where the map said, we found Mr. Dryer. He came to Portland in 1850 and started the “Oregonian” as a weekly paper. He was not a very good businessman, however, and was unable to pay his printer, a young man named Henry Pittock, for months at a time. Dryer eventually gave ownership to Mr. Pittock, who turned it into a daily paper and became of of the richest men in town. Mr. Dryer stayed active in politics and the well-being of the city until he died.
His headstone is charming, a small stone made of polished red marble. It has an image of the original Oregonian Office.
As always, I left Lone Fir with an appreciation of the past and optimism for the future.