Salem Pioneer Cemetery

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Salem Pioneer Cemetery
Salem Pioneer Cemetery - Oregon.JPG
Country United States
Coordinates 44°55′12″N123°02′52″W / 44.919908°N 123.047796°W / 44.919908; -123.047796 Coordinates: 44°55′12″N123°02′52″W / 44.919908°N 123.047796°W / 44.919908; -123.047796
Owned byCity of Salem
Size16 acres (65,000 m2)

Salem Pioneer Cemetery (also known as the I.O.O.F. Cemetery or Oddfellows Cemetery) is a cemetery in Salem, Oregon, United States.



Salem Pioneer Cemetery is one of two historic cemeteries located next to each other at the intersection of South Commercial and Hoyt streets. It is just east of City View Cemetery. The earliest burials center around the Methodist missionary pioneer David Leslie. The Methodist Mission was founded by the Reverend Jason Lee in 1834. This was the first mission to the Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. After the end of the mission period, settlers poured into the Willamette Valley to take advantage of the land that was being granted due to the passage of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, brought to Congress by early pioneer Samuel R. Thurston, Oregon's first delegate.

David Leslie became Jason Lee's principal assistant. He was a leader in the movement to organize the provisional government of Oregon, and a lifelong trustee of the Methodists' Oregon Institute, which was charted as Willamette University by the Territorial legislature in 1854.

In 1985, the City of Salem's Parks Division agreed to be titleholder and steward of the cemetery, mainly due to work done by the Friends of the Pioneer Cemetery. The Friends of the Pioneer Cemetery consists of a group of concerned citizens working together to raise awareness of the rich local history and to raise funds to supplement the limited public monies available to maintain this historic site.

Notable burials

Gravemarker of Charles H. Bennett Salem Pioneer Cemetery Bennett - Oregon.JPG
Gravemarker of Charles H. Bennett

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