Photo courtesy of Metro
By Michelle Frost
If you enjoy a spooky night in the cemetery, hearing stories of Portland’s history, and wearing costumes, you will want to celebrate Halloween weekend with the annual Tour of Untimely Departures at Metro’s historic Lone Fir Cemetery, Saturday, October 29 at from 5 to 9 pm.
Ghouls and ghosts will lead you on a candle-lit tour, introducing some of the residents and the circumstances around their untimely departures. This tour is fun and informative for the whole family and contains mature content.
This event is presented by Metro in collaboration with Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery and Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation.
“Metro oversees 14 cemeteries in Multnomah County,” explains Brian Kennedy, Parks and Nature Program Director at Metro. “This tour offers the community a fun and exciting way to connect to Portland’s history.”
Originally, the tour was created to invite people into the cemetery on Halloween night as a way to prevent vandalism, according to Kennedy. When the tour happens like this year’s event on Saturday before the holiday, park staff will be on hand to patrol the grounds.
Lone Fir Cemetery is not just a cemetery. It’s one of Oregon’s most historic treasures and the second-largest arboretum in Portland with over 700 trees representing 67 species.
The first occupant, Emmor Stephens, was buried in 1846 and today 25,000 people are buried there. Chestnut Grove Memorial Garden opened within Lone Fir Cemetery in 2013 to provide an option for the increasing number of people who choose to be cremated.
Ticket sales help restore the tomb of Portland’s first beer meisters, brothers George Frederic Bottler and George Michael Bottler, from Bavaria.
George Frederic passed away from consumption in 1865 and his brother built this memorial in his name. George Michael established City Brewing in 1856 and died of lung inflammation during a trip to Germany in 1868 and was buried there.
George Michael’s good friend, Henry Weinhardt, took over Bottler’s interest in the business, renamed the brewery and continued to expand until it became the largest in the Pacific Northwest.
Costumes are encouraged. Dogs are not permitted on cemetery grounds at any time. General admission tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. Children and Seniors tickets are $5 in advance and at the gate.
For more information about tickets, times and directions to Lone Fir at SE 26th and Washington streets, see the website oregonmetro.gov/calendar or call 503.807.7462. This event sells out so advance tickets are recommended.