Old Pioneer Cemetery (originally known as Rigney Cemetery) is one of the oldest cemeteries in Pierce county. It is a 4 acre burial donated by husband and wife, John Rigney and Elizabeth Lowry (both born in Ireland). Pioneer has been in use since 1850 but may have unmarked burials prior to this date. After Pioneer became full there was need for another Catholic burial. By October 1905 the Calvary Cemetery Association incorporated and bought the adjoining land. Old Pioneer is not owned by the Association, but is maintained by Calvary.
No records exist prior to 1905 due to a fire. Any information gathered from the headstones is at the office of Calvary Catholic Cemetery stored with their burial records.
In 1950 there was a cemetery workers strike which contributed to the ruins of Old Pioneer.
Old Pioneer is part of Calvary Cemetery located on the Steilacoom Road near South Tacoma. You have to drive through Calvary Cemetery to get to get to the old cemetery. The cemetery is often confused to be part of Calvary since they sit side by side. Go down Orchard/Lakewood, turn at brown Calvary Cemetery sign. Entry is on right.
AKA: Rigney Cemetery, Rigney Catholic Cemetery and Pioneer Catholic Cemetery.
This cemetery was fully photographed and documented via visible stones/research by Find A Grave members as of May 2012.
GPS Coordinates: 47.19075, -122.50865
- Added: 19 Apr 2009
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2302225
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