|Apparently fake? No burials found in 1959 off-site|
after the headstones had been moved
from the hospital grounds
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
City and Salem Housing Authority staff have been working with DAS on acquiring Yaquina Hall and the park property. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services’ environmental review process for the North Campus required archeological and historic review. The consultation has resulted in information that the area to the north of the Yaquina property was once a cemetery. It has been requested that DAS perform ground penetrating radar testing to determine if there are any human remains in this area. DAS has retained a consultant and this work is expected to be completed by June 30. Given the historic and archaeological issues, the earliest the City can close on the Yaquina and park properties would be January 2020. We will have a much better understanding of the options, requirements, and timelines at the beginning of July after the ground penetrating radar work is completed.The best available information has been that the Asylum Cemetery was fully decommmissioned. In 1991 the Willamette Valley Genealogical Society published a booklet, "The Asylum Cemetery, 1883-1913, Salem, Marion County, Oregon," and historians work off this end date of 1913. There were additional stories in 1959 about a trove of headstones off-site, seemingly disconnected from any burials (image at top), but at that time no new information suggested there were still burials in the ground.
|Cremains in the new Columbarium|
(OSH Memorial Pamphlet)
|The 1917 USGS map might be confused|
on Jason Lee Cemetery,
or it might point to the Asylum Cemetery
(D Street at top, Center Street in middle;
the old Kirkbride in bottom right)
|Plans to exhume and cremate;|
and then to move headstones
(September 30th, 1912)
This will be very interesting to follow, and if there are lost and forgotten burials, hopefully they can be reinterred or otherwise identified with dignity this time.