The Chronicle -

By Victoria Stephens


Pioneer is oldest, creepiest park in county


October 17, 2019


Pioneer Memorial Cemetery Park, a public park containing the remains of early residents of Springfield. Elias Briggs founded and named Springfield in 1848. He delivered the cemetery deed to trustees on Oct. 31, 1866. Briggs died in an insane asylum, Oregon State Hospital, on Jan. 17, 1896, though he is likely not buried at the park, but instead on the hospital grounds.

SPRINGFIELD – For being the oldest cemetery in Lane County, the file on Pioneer Memorial Cemetery Park is notably thin.

Aside from a few old newspaper articles, a page in a booklet and a plaque at the park's entrance, information on this park at 398 S. C St. is scarce, said Jennifer Marsh, Willamalane's adult programming and living history coordinator.

Is Pioneer Memorial Cemetery Park a cemetery or a park? Uniquely, it is both, and through a piecemeal of information, the story goes something like this:

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The cemetery land was in use as early as 1852 and was used for bu...

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