Look to the hills.

Where I live in Siuslaw Valley there are several pioneer cemeteries that hold the lives and stories of those buried here the past two centuries. In the Lorane Grange Cemetery, under the shadow of towering evergreens, some of the moss covered granite headstones and grave markers from the mid-to-late 1800’s and early 1900’s have survived the wear of time, the Pacific Northwest weather, displacement from the intrusion of livestock and blows from fallen tree limbs.

Lorane and the Siuslaw Valley are rich in pioneer history. Our neighbor Pat Edwards, local historian and author of From Sawdust and Cider to Wine – A History of Lorane Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley (Maverick Publications, 2006) dedicates Chapter Seven to the history of our local cemeteries. King Estate Winery put in a blacktop road and a paved parking lot to provide better access to the cemetery.

Marna Hing, in her article written for The Lorane Historian, August 15, 1994 as excerpted from Edward’s book on page 139, describes the location of the Lorane Grange Cemetery:

“… just north of the town… look to the west hills. You will see a stand of tall majestic trees high on the hillside. Years ago, there was a wagon road (I was told that it was a military road) that went up to the cemetery. There were also some homesteads along that road. It was a dirt road that only horse and wagon could use. With the advent of the automobile, the road was only used during the summer months. When the cows got into the cemetery, they not only broke headstones, but moved markers. Therefore, the exact locations are uncertain.”

Our neighbor Walt Hayes, used his gift for “witching” for water with his dowsing rod to find the exact location for us to dig a new water well on our property a couple years ago (may he rest in peace). I’ve no idea how many years back this goes, but Walt began using his gift to locate graves by walking over them with his rod. It’s reported that Walt was able to determine the size of the grave and whether is was the grave of an adult or child, and if they were laying vertically or horizontally in a row. He obtained a cemetery list for the Lorane Grange Cemetery from the Cottage Genealogical Society and found all save one or two graves.

This past weekend, I went on a walkabout with my husband through the Lorane Grange Cemetery. We noted that many women died young, in their childbearing years and there are graves of children. Pat notes that there may be graves of U.S. Army Calvary soldiers killed in a skirmish with a band of Indians (her research continues to verify the facts). Here are some of the images I captured.

Gone home the loved ones.

Gone to the home of the blest.

Gone to the beautiful City above.

Gone to the land of eternal rest.

A.E. Robertson 1859-1888 (29 years old)

Note: Obituarieshelp.org is an excellent online resource for obituaries, funerals and genealogy search.