Luper Pioneer Cemetery Memorial Day Weekend

NEWS RELEASE — May 16, 2023

For Immediate Release and for Memorial Day Calendars

SUBJECT: Luper Cemetery Gate will be Open Memorial Day Weekend – May 27, 28, 29


CONTACT: Peter Thurston, President, Luper Cemetery Inc. 541-321-0798

Luper Pioneer Cemetery will open the vehicle gate at 30391 Beacon Drive West (north of Eugene’s Santa Clara neighborhood) from 9 AM to 4 PM May 27, 28, 29 (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so people can walk the grounds and take a self-guided tour of this historic site.

In November of 1853 about 1000 pioneers arrived in the Willamette Valley by way of the Oregon Trail cutoff across central Oregon “to farm the fertile soil of the Willamette Valley, between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range” according to the McClure wagon train by-laws.

On Monday, Memorial Day, the following activities will take place between 10 AM and 2 PM:

> Musical entertainment by the Poodle Creek Pickers.

> Historical presentations by ‘Mountain Man’ Ken Beagle and his wife Marmie Beagle (great-great granddaughter of wagon train leader James McClure).

> Informational tours by local historian Daniel Owen.

> Members of the Luper board of directors will be in attendance to answer questions, and a self guided I spy activity in the cemetery will also be available.

> Authors Kathy Box and Daniel Owen will each be present with copies of their respective books for sale about Oregon Pioneers. Each book purchased comes with a free copy of “They Came, They Went,” a local history book by John Harn, while supplies last.

On Saturday and Sunday, information for completing a self-guided tour of the cemetery will be available, including interpretive signs describing the 18 people interred at the cemetery who arrived on the 1853 wagon train. There are over 160 people interred at Luper Cemetery.


DIRECTIONS to Luper Pioneer Cemetery: From Eugene, follow River Rd. north to Beacon Drive, on the north boundary of Santa Clara, and follow signs west. From Junction City, take River Rd. south, turn west onto Beacon Drive and travel about a ½ mile to a white metal gate, on the north side of Beacon Drive. Proceed through the gate approximately 1/2 mile to the parking lot and cemetery entrance. The cemetery may be accessed every day from dawn to dusk by walking the half-mile gravel road from West Beacon Drive to the cemetery. Please check for more information about the cemetery, and other resources.

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