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[graphic] Hargadine Cemetery
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Hargadine Cemetery
Photograph by Terry Skibby

Robert Hargadine, a prominent merchant, was one of three original founders of the small settlement first known as Ashland Mills. In 1867 his one-year-old daughter Katie died; hers was the first recorded burial on the sloping hill north of Ashland now known as Hargadine Cemetery. This family graveyard was established on land owned by James Haworth, who accommodated the graves of the Hargadine and Farnham families. Haworth formally deeded one and one-half acres to the families "for the purpose of a Cemetery or Grave Yard for the burial of the dead and for no other purpose." Associated with the period of earliest developement in the Ashland area, many prominent early settlers, including Asa Fordyce, Ashmun Butler, and John P. Walker, are buried here. As the city-owned Ashland Cemetery became overcrowded, pressure on Hargadine increased.

Grave marker for Katie Hargadine in 1867, first recorded burial in the cemetery
From the National Register collection

Late in the 19th century, the Hargadine Cemetery Association took title and responsibility for landscaping, road construction, and annual cleaning of the cemetery. The City provided water pipes and a tool house and granted permission to the sexton to charge one dollar per lot sold, in part to pay for the blasting powder necessary to dig graves out of the hardpan and granite soil. The setting of the cemetery is characterized by native black and white oaks, ponderosa pine, and madrone trees, along with native grasses and a variety of historic ornamental plantings. A historic post and wire fence of 1910 replaced earlier boundary fencing. The work of local master stone carvers James and Ann Hill Russell, and John Carr Whipp, can be seen in the variety of monument types found at Hargardine Cemetery--ranging in size and design from small plain markers to large tablets, monuments and ledger markers.

As older members of pioneer families died or moved away, care of the plots declined. While the burial grounds had been approved for transfer to the City by 1930, the economic crisis of the Depression prevented that from occurring, and cemetery conditions worsened through the World War II years and beyond. Finally, because no official transfer of deed was found, the City resorted to the legislative process, and in 1989 by means of an Act of the Oregon Legislature (House Bill 3017) the cemetery shifted from private to municipal ownership.

Hargadine Cemetery, 345 Sheridan St., is open to the public during daylight hours.

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