Gillespie Cemetery

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Gillespie Cemetery

Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, USA
Memorials 451 added (89% photographed)

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Gillespie Cemetery is a hillside landscape which was once part of the homestead of the Reverend Jacob Gillespie. Rev. Gillespie purchased the land claim from Adam Peek in 1852 and this parcel included the butte where the cemetery is now located. The original family cemetery was located lower on the Rev. Gillespie's homestead and farm (near where Willagillespie Elementary School is currently).

In May of 1895 Rev. Gillespie and his third wife, Elizabeth Moss Goodpasture Gillespie donated "a parcel of land measuring 12 by 14 rods on the north end of Gillespie Butte" to the Gillespie Cemetery Association to be used as a burial ground. Graves from the original homestead cemetery were then removed to the new cemetery atop the butte.

On March 9, 1896 the cemetery association met and elected officers and trustees. The Gillespie Cemetery Association continues to meet to this day, and have maintained impeccable burial and business records.

The cemetery landscape is rugged and wild. The terrain and walk to the cemetery itself can be steep. Vegetation is native. The cemetery is laid out on a grid with all burial plots numbered. Graves face eastward and markers are placed on the west end of the grave. There are two sections to this cemetery, with the upper level being opened more recently. Pioneer and other burials can be located in the lower section.

Generally, public access is limited to walk-in only entrance from dawn-to-dusk. Driving directions to the top of Gillespie Butte are: Cal Young Road to Debrick Road up Crenshaw Road. The entry is located at the top of Crenshaw. (Be careful to not block the gate when parking as you are subject to being towed.) Sturdy footwear is suggested. Please do not bring pets into the cemetery as they can cause damage to the historical markers.

The cemetery board is comprised of yearly-elected and rotating members: president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and historian. The board members/trustees are a mixture of Rev. Gillespie's descendants, other family members, friends and Cal Young/Norkenzie area neighbors. All work with the Oregon Historic Cemeteries Association to maintain and preserve this pioneer cemetery.


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GPS Coordinates: 44.0736008, -123.0911026

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #38825