Monumental Moments: A Cemetery Tour Not to Miss

You’re familiar with some of the names around Hillsboro – you know of John Shute, namesake of Shute Park, former mayors Randolph Crandell, William D. Hare, and Thomas H. Tongue, and even remembered that the City of Hillsboro was named after David Hill.

But what else do you know about the area’s past? See history come alive at the Monumental Moments Cemetery Tour on Sunday, October 1 at historic Pioneer Cemetery.  Learn about the earliest Hillsboro settlers come to rest at the site and take yourself back to a simpler time. Actors in costume come together for this annual event to share stories, portraying a dynamic group of interesting residents whose stories are woven into the fabric of Hillsboro’s rich history.

Did you know?
A brief history of Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery is situated on what was previously part of the David Hill land claim that was recorded on July 4, 1847. Hill died in 1850, and in 1860 the Masonic Order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) established a cemetery on the current site. The cemetery contains some of the oldest graves in Hillsboro. Interestingly, however, the northeastern section of the cemetery was originally acquired by Washington County for use to inter much of the indigent population at the time and was known as the “poor farm.” Those graves remain unmarked. From 1952 to 1989 the Hillsboro Cemetery Endowment Association provided regular maintenance at the cemetery through fundraising efforts and sponsorships. In 1965, the Tongue family plot became part of the cemetery. The City took over the maintenance and records for the cemetery via the dedication of properties, accepted by City Council resolution, in 1973.

On May 24, 2012, the City of Hillsboro formally unveiled an entrance sign. Designed by local craftsman, Dan Leuthold of Daniel’s Iron Design, the wrought iron entry gate welcomes visitors and, at the same time, honors this historic place. In addition to the new entrance way, a kiosk was also installed to invite visitors to learn more through a display of maps and general information. The entrance sign and kiosk was funded in part by a $4,000 grant from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Additional costs have been covered in a shared effort by the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Department and the City Manager’s Office.

On June 17, 2014, the City Council adopted the Pioneer Cemetery Master Plan, which outlines general history and future projects for the site, located at 1601 SW Baseline Street.

Monumental Moments: A tour of Pioneer Cemetery
Sunday, October 1
1 – 5 pm
Pioneer Cemetery
1601 SW Baseline

$8 registration
Register at RecXpress
Course #55019 – 55035
Or call 503-681-5397 to register.
Space is limited!


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