Springtime at Lone Fir

Dear Liza,

It was a pretty day today, much different from the chilly winds yesterday. I was feeling restless, so I went to visit the dead people.

Spring always makes the cemetery fresh and beautiful, allowing us to think about the permanence of death and the changing of the seasons. And besides that, it’s just pretty… the pinks and greens against the blue sky.

Today, since a large dogwood was blooming, I got a very nice photo of the Soldiers’ Memorial from the Civil War. This young man carrying a flag is usually in shade, but the white tree behind him let him show up better.

I found this sad little headstone, a marker for two little sisters, ages 12 and 9, who died within days of each other in 1880. Was there a flu epidemic? Measles? We may never know. Children died much more often in those days, before vaccines, antibiotics, car seats or sewage systems.

Walking around the back of the cemetery, I found two columns dedicated to David S. Stearns, who donated the money for this back entrance to the cemetery, which isn’t used anymore. I have found Mr. Stearns in articles in the Oregonian newspaper of the 1900s, where he is mentioned as building large structures downtown and negotiating all sorts of land sales. He and his family also took vacations with other prominent Portland families. He was what we call a “mover and shaker”…. he got stuff done.

I always learn new things at Lone Fir.

Love, Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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