Lone Fir Cemetery
Overlooking the Willamette River and downtown Portland, the 30.5-acre cemetery is the oldest continuously operating burial ground in the city. Situated in the Buckman neighborhood, it is near Ladd's Addition, one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods platted in 1891, and the Laurelhurst neighborhood and park established from 1909 to 1911.
The cemetery was established in 1846, begun with a single grave on a family farm, which Colburn Barrell purchased and developed as a cemetery over a twenty year period. Its design incorporates fifty rectangular blocks into a grid pattern, overlaid with orthogonal roads that follow the surrounding street pattern and contrasting curvilinear paths. A rough-hewn rock retaining wall covered with moss separates the burial plots from the sunken access road in the oldest part of the cemetery, with concrete and basalt curbs elsewhere. The cemetery is interspersed with more than 500 evergreen and deciduous trees representing 67 species, planted informally by friends and family of the 25,000 people interred there. These mature trees also include the “lone fir” for which the cemetery is named.
Notable structures include the Gothic Revival-style Macleay Mausoleum built in 1877 and the Soldiers’ Memorial built in 1903. In 1943, Portland’s Pioneer Rose Association took cuttings from 23 rose species brought west on the Oregon Trail and planted them in Lone Fir’s Pioneer Rose Garden, the only one of its kind remaining today. The cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.