This blog will record some of the trips we make throughout Oregon and other places.
We enjoy wandering off the beaten path whenever possible. Come wander with us!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Gardiner Cemetery ~ Gardiner, Oregon

Gardiner Cemetery
located in Gardiner, Douglas County, Oregon

The cemetery is terraced into the hillside on the north end of what remains of Gardiner, Oregon. Most of the headstones are quite old and some are struggling with the elements and the passage of time. These gravestones belong, for the most part, to the early pioneers of the area. Below is the plaque on the flagpole.

This picture shows how steep the hillside is with the reference of a 6' tall man.

Abby J Lockwood

Born November 7, 1849
Died - July 11, 1876

The bed frame above the grave is rusted, but in remarkable shape for being close to the ocean and in a very wet environment. I have seen these bed frames before and assume that it is a symbol of an everlasting resting place, but have not been able to find a reference in the guides to cemetery symbology. If anyone has a reference to direct me to, I would appreciate it.

We were not able to spend a lot of time here - racing a bit between the raindrops and in search of a meal. We had read that there was an upcoming community of artists and small bistros in Gardiner - their demise preceded our arrival, but their previous existence allowed us to discover this pioneer cemetery.

Gardiner was a harbor community along the Umpqua River. It was founded by merchant Gardiner when his ship wrecked - what was salvaged was moved here and it became a town. It became a noted port for wood mills and wood products. Destroyed by fire in 1880, the town was quickly rebuilt and became one of the busiest port cities on the Oregon coast. It not only shipped out of the area, but ran paddle wheel boats up the Umpqua River. The mills and paper companies were active until 1999. They have since been razed and the land lies empty.

The cemetery is located to the left of the white square building just below the US 101 marker.  You can enlarge the map and see it quite well.

From- Oregon Geographic Names:

Gardiner is on the north bank of the Umpqua River near its mouth. It is an historic community of Oregon, and bears the name of a Boston merchant who sought to trade on the river. His vessel, Bostonian, was wrecked at the mouth of the Umpqua on October 1, 1850. Most of the goods on the vessel were saved and moved to the location of what was subsequently the town of Gardiner. The place became the headquarters of the Umpqua customs district in 1851, with Colin Wilson as collector. The community is described in the Oregonian for June 23, 1855. The post office of Gardiner's City was established on June 10, 1851, with George L Snelling first postmaster. The form Gardiner City was used on October 20, 1853, which was the date that Harrison Spicer became postmaster. The official name is now Gardiner.

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