Over a Barrell at Rainy Lone Fir

Dear Liza,

Yesterday was a hard morning. I woke up tired and grouchy. I didn’t even write a blog. Even the snow which was supposed to come, didn’t, and we had cold, wet slush.

But as the day moved on, I pulled myself out of it. Drank a lot of water. Had an apple and peanut butter. Did a crossword puzzle with Grandpa Nelson.

After lunch I decided to head to Lone Fir Cemetery, in spite of the drizzle. I am researching the family of Colburn and Aurelia Barrell and wanted to see their headstones. Back in the day, Mr. Barrell was a businessman who invested in all sorts of things, and by 1854, he owned a steamship called The Gazelle and a large chunk of property on the east side of Portland.

Young Crawford Dobbins’ memorial

That year, The Gazelle exploded, killing twenty people. Two of them were young friends of Mr. Barrell, and he wanted to honor them with proper burials. He established the Mt. Crawford Cemetery on his East Portland property and had very nice monuments put up. Mr. Crawford, who gave his name to the place, has a ten foot high obelisk, and Mr. Fuller, a coffin-sized slab.

David Fuller’s slab, which says “…killed by the explosion of the steamer Gazelle.”

Mrs. Barrell later convinced her husband to change the name to Lone Fir, because of the one fir tree that stood on the property.

That is what people know about the family. But there were seven children…. surely, in the 160 years since, someone else must have done something else interesting. I am researching old Portland newspapers online to see what they might have been up to. I will keep you posted.

Feeling better, moving forward.

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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