Pleasant View Cemetery
Clackamas County, Oregon
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Summer 2013

Aaron Gilbert Eagle Scout Project

Back Row:  John Bohard, Cameron Quenzer, Andrew Kassab,
Dawson Durig, John Cramer, Lucas Whitesell, Alex Tomlinson
Front:  Aaron Gilbert and Charlotte Lehan holding the David Ratcliff Monument

We were fortunate to have Aaron Gilbert of Wilsonville Troop 194 take on an Eagle Scout project that none of us have figured out how to do before this.  He created new concrete bases with slots for three tablet monuments of quite different sizes. 

One was for William Parrott, in the same row as Pearl Parrott, whose new base was created by Aaron's brother Cameron a couple years ago.  However, Pearl's was a flat base and no one had taken on the task of creating slotted bases before Aaron's project. These are accurate reproductions of the bases that originally held these fragile tablet markers.  He also created one for David Ratcliff, and one for Mary Bell, a young girl whose marker will now match those of her two siblings.

The project involved several months of planning, measuring, designing, and creating the bases.  Then with the help of other troop members, on September 8th, weeds were cleared, sod cut, bases were dry fit, leveled, and finally cemented in place.  When they are finished setting, we will permanently install the tablets in their new custom bases.

 

Pleasant View Cemetery is very appreciative of the work performed by Aaron and Troop 194, and all the assistance of their leaders: 
Matt Whitesell, John Budiao, Todd Tolboe, and Ed Burress. 

We are never short of projects here if other scouts are interested!

Here are the monuments they worked on, waiting to be set:


William Parrott,
an 8-year-old who died in 1893


Mary Bell,
a 10-year-old who died in 1885


David Ratcliff,
a 28-year-old who died in 1862

 

Spring 2013

            Spring is always the time that we have more going on at the cemetery. We need to get things spruced up after the winter, and have everything looking good for Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and Father's Day, when we tend to have the most visitors.  Starting the weekend of March 9th we will have a portable toilet on site until after Memorial Day for everyone's convenience.  We rely mostly on volunteer help from family and community members, scout troops, and the Clackamas County Community Service Crew.  If you or your family would like to join us sometime, there is always work to be done.  From big projects like uncovering and leveling sunken monuments, to lighter work like sweeping and raking, to cleaning out engravings where your largest tool might be a toothbrush!

Here was the schedule for this spring:       

Sunday March 10:  Clackamas County Community Service Crew

      The service crew from Clackamas County was out to do more trimming and general clean-up.  We raised several sunken monuments and removed five of the big boxwood rootballs near the large dogwood tree by the main gate.  In addition, Jerry Eaton has completed the re-graveling of the internal roads and parking area so things are starting to shape up for spring!

Saturday March 16:  Scout Project and Veteran Commemoration 

       Eagle Scout candidate, Reed Burress, from Troop 194, installed new markers for twelve veterans whose monuments are missing or perhaps have never had one.  Not having any sort of marker has made it difficult to acknowledge them with a flag on Memorial Day or Veterans Day.  Reed has been making the markers for several months and with the help of his troop, he got them all installed the morning of Saturday, March 16th.  Then at 1:00 PM he hosted a flag raising and commemoration for these veterans with the assistance of the Sherwood American Legion.  Look for these new markers next time you visit. 

The twelve veterans are:

James Edward McConnell
1838 1900
Civil War Veteran

Jacob Lentz
1830 - 1894
Civil War Veteran

James Ogg
1809 1889
Indian War Veteran

John F.M. Coley
1826 1901
Mexican War Veteran
9th Infantry

Washington Pringle Johnson
1838 1912
Civil War Veteran
101st Regiment, Indiana

Edward Everett Hale
1919 1996
World War II Veteran
U.S. Navy

David Searles McConnell
1845 1888
Indian War Veteran

John C. McConnell
1809 1881
Indian War Veteran

Marshall Roberts
1835 1898
Indian War Veteran

Jesse P. Wildgrube
1897 1923
World War I Veteran

William Eary Moad
1887 1934
World War I Veteran

Arthur Allison Munsell
1933 1981
Korean War Veteran
U.S. Army

Saturday, May 11th:  Work Day 

       The Clackamas County Community Service Crew came out and really hustled to get a lot of trimming done around monuments, along the fence, and throughout.  We removed two problem trees, but have not gotten all the debris picked up yet. Another job for the 18th!  A few volunteers came by to help and several people came to decorate monuments for Mother's Day.

Saturday May 18th:  Annual Meeting and Work Day 

       We held the Annual Pleasant View Cemetery  Association Meeting at the cemetery this year. In generations past annual meetings were often held at the cemetery so we thought we gave it a try. In spite of cold, rainy weather, we had about 15 hearty souls show up to help with trimming, cleaning, and general pick-up.  At noon we took a break for some lunch and a brief meeting.  Luckily we had a tent cover!  We re-elected two board members, discussed past and future projects, and had two more people express interest in serving on the board next year. 

May 25 - 27  Memorial Day Weekend

       Once known as Decoration Day, this is the biggest weekend of the year at Pleasant View Cemetery.  Lots of folks worked hard in the weeks leading up to it to get the cemetery looking its best.  In spite of uncooperative weather, we had lots of visitors come from far and wide to honor our veterans, clean and decorate family monuments, and generally pay tribute to pioneers and community members who have come before us.  I always enjoy watching older family members explaining to kids about their ancestors and including them in the traditions of decorating for Memorial Day. It is an important connection to make across the generations. 

By the way, our porta-potty was certainly appreciated by many of us the last three months, but it is scheduled to be removed Monday, June 3rd.  We are looking into what it would take to get one installed on a more permanent basis.

 

 

 

 Fall Clean-up 2011
.

We had two very productive days this fall with the Clackamas County community service crews who did lots of fall maintenance like trimming, sweeping, raking, and such.  They also edged a lot of the curbing, cut sod away from monuments, and lifted and leveled more than thirty monuments.  In the process they located a monument that had been on the missing list because it was completey sunken beneath the sod.  It has been lifted and reset and is in near mint condition.  It is for Anna Murdock and you can see it on now on this site if you look her up.  


Pictured above are the finishing touches to one of the bigger jobs the crew took on with the Bell children's column near the center road.  This was one of two badly tilted marble columns that were straightened under the skilled leadership of supervisor, Byron Philpot.  This involves carefully digging out around the fragile sandstone bases, then bringing them to straight without putting pressure on the column, which would likely break apart at the joints.  Manipulating these heavy stones without pushing on the monument requires teamwork and can be very challenging!  As the monument settles back into its new position the spaces are backfilled with gravel. 

 Of course every time we straighten the worst leaners, the ones that didn't look that bad before stick out even more!  We are gradually working to improve things, but there will always be more to do.  We continue to be very appreciative of all the assistance we have gotten from the Clackamas County crews.

 

 

 Memorial Day Weekend 2010              
In spite of our less than perfect weather this weekend, we had several breaks of beautiful sunshine and not much rain.  Saturday, Sunday, and Monday saw lots of visitors to the cemetery.  I had the opportunity to meet and visit with many of the people who came to tend and decorate the graves of friends and family.  I am always impressed with the number of people who take the time and effort to care for not just their loved ones, but also for individuals they could not possibly have known.  

Thank you to everyone who came out to Pleasant View Cemetery to clean and decorate the monuments this weekend.  By Memorial Day afternoon when the sun came out, everything was looking especially beautiful. 
Charlotte

 

Spring 2010 Volunteer Clean-up Days
Result in Big Accomplishments!

        We finished two Saturday clean-ups in May and really appreciate the help provided by all the volunteers as well as the Clackamas County Community Service Team.  Some of our accomplishments:

  • Trimming and Blowing
        We got lots of trimming, blowing, and pruning done, and had things looking great for Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends. 
     

  • Monument Cleaning
        Our board president, Liz Meyers worked her way down from the top while the Endicott Family worked their way up from the bottom.  They used wooden sticks and small brushes to clean out some of the engraving in the shadier areas that has not been cleaned in many years. It's slow work, but also relaxing and contemplative, especially with some good conversation thrown in!  It certainly makes a big difference in the legibility of the monuments.
     

  • Lifting and Leveling
           Altogether this May and June we got over eighty monuments lifted and leveled, and in the process discovered two monuments we didn't know were there that were completely covered.  Most of the work was accomplished on the two volunteer Saturdays and on two other weekends when we had the assistance of the Clackamas County Community Service Team.  This is one of those jobs that needs to be done in spring or fall when the ground is soft but not muddy, so we are finished now for the rest of the summer. 
     

  • West Entrance Clean-up
         The West (uphill) entrance has been quite overgrown in recent years and has become something of a dumping spot at the corner.  This is unfortunate because we have a magnificent big-leaf maple there that deserves to make a statement at the upper gate.  Dave Beach, who lives nearby, came with his tractor to haul away the chunks of concrete that had been dumped, and brought his chainsaw to remove some of the filberts and holly that were blocking the view of the maple tree.  We still have some dead/dying trees to remove to really be able to see the big maple at its best, as well as lots of English ivy that needs to be removed from almost everything.  If you do any work in this area be sure you wear gloves and can identify poison oak because there is lots of it in the woods around the cemetery.        
     

  • New Parking Area  - Now Complete!
    Jerry Eaton finished leveling and adding gravel to a small parking area at the west end.  That should reduce the need to pass cars stopped in the roadway, which has caused damage in the past to nearby graves and monuments.  All three entrances also received gravel and compacting, allowing easier circulation on holidays or when there is a service or other gathering. 


    Thank you to everyone who contributed their time to the spring clean-ups this year!
    Charlotte

 

 
Veteran's Day 2009
We made a lot of restoration progress this year including restoring the
flagpole and fence, as well as continuing work to repair and stabilize monuments.
   
Our veterans include John Vinson, a Civil War veteran who fought with the Union Army in the 23rd Missouri Infantry.
His marble monument includes one of the finest examples of the insignia of the Grand Army of the Republic, pictured below.
Summer/Fall Restoration Work in 2009

In spite of some uncooperative weather we finished the final fall mowing and trimming and had things looking very good for Veteran's Day on November 11th.  This has been a year of big accomplishments at Pleasant View Cemetery.  The biggest project by far was repairing, straightening, and painting the entire fence.  We were also successful in getting corner warning signs installed by Clackamas County to help prevent future fence collisions.  About a dozen monuments were repaired including the big Langston stone, and the flagpole has been sanded and painted.  Here are some photos from the work this year.       Charlotte  
 

Monument Repair
    

After being vandalized and toppled last year, the Langston monument was removed this spring for repair by Oregon Memorials of Hillsboro.  Here it is being re-installed, a job that had to wait for the ground to be firm enough for large equipment to install such a heavy stone.  It was securely pinned and the top re-designed so it would not be so top-heavy and susceptible to tipping.  Several other monuments were also re-secured.

  
  

 

The Old Fence
    

Remember the status of our fence last year?  After numerous auto collisions, years of rust and broken pickets, it was in pretty sorry shape. Besides all the broken, bent, and missing parts, it was mostly out of alignment and none of the six gates functioned properly.  The overhead arch had been hit by a vehicle and had several missing and broken letters.

  
  

 

Fence Repair Gets Underway
    

The old archway was cut down and taken to Hillsboro to be re-built at Steel Pond Studios. Because of the excessive heat last summer the metal work was slower than expected, with extra safety measures taken to reduce the chance of fire from the welding and grinding.  After straightening the uprights, the archway was finally re-installed and primed for painting.   

     

 
  

 

Fence Repair Completed
    

Besides completely replacing the four panels that had been hit, several bottom rails and many pickets were replaced that had rusted through.  Over thirty missing picket tops were replaced; gates were removed, repaired, and re-installed higher so they would function properly.  The main gate had hold-downs installed so it no longer requires a chain to hold it in the closed position.

     
   Travis Pond and his assistant, Dan Wiancko of Steel Pond. 
His steel sculptures have been on display in Lake Oswego and other cities in the Northwest. 
His work was featured on NW Cable News

 

Fence Painting Completed
  

With all that new metal just primed, in September we scrambled to get the fence power washed and painted before the fall rains got underway - made tougher working with a site that had no water or power.  Perfect View Window Cleaning of Hillsboro did the washing and J.J.'s Painting of Wilsonville did the painting.  Both were excellent to work with.

     
   Altogether the fence is looking better than ever.

 

On to the Flagpole
    

Don Dahl at the Sherwood American Legion took the lead in getting the flagpole sanded and re-painted.  With a commitment to getting it completed before Veteran's Day, he arranged for Brian Berryhill of Sherwood to lower the pole.  Don supplied the paint and supplies for the work, which was done by Byron Philpot and the Clackamas County Community Service Crew who spent a whole Saturday, cleaning, sanding, and applying at least three coats of paint.  We even got a fresh coat of paint on the gold ball so here is a close-up of it which you will not be able to see so well when it is upright again.

     

And Finally . . .

 

With some encouragement, Clackamas County road sign crews installed street signs and a turn warning arrow at the corner where we have had the collisions.  Now that our fence is looking so terrific we will cross our fingers that the new signs will help prevent future miscalculations at the corner.

Spring Restoration Work in 2009

We had a few stones left from the major work done in 2008 that we are still working on in 2009.  Monument work is weather dependent because we need conditions to be dry enough to work with the monument adhesives and we need the soil dry enough to get equipment close but not so dry that the ground is hard to work with.  That means catching a few time windows in the spring or fall when the work crews, weather, and equipment all line up.

The monuments left for repair from last year included those with loose tops, but with bases that were so tilted we didn't want to attach the tops until the base was level.  On two different days we leveled the bases on seven monuments and then had Oregon Memorials out again to re-assemble and adhere them together.  An eighth stone, a marble column for David Fletcher, is still laying down because the ground was too soft in that area for the equipment needed to lift such a large base and monument. The large Langston stone that was vandalized in early 2008 was removed for repair by Oregon Memorials. 

Here are some photos of the work done this spring:

    
Removing the Langston stone where we found the missing Quailhurst medallion under the monument.

   
These two stones, Charles Thomas Stewart and Royal & Ellen Samson, were both
very tilted and loose on their bases.  They are both straight and secure now.
 

         
These three stones are in a row together and were seriously tilted and loose, having been toppled in the past. 
They include the monuments for J.W. & Permelia Tuckness, the Tuckness children, and Clyde, Lester, & Teddy Baker.

 
The Lester Moore monument is one of only two zinc monuments in the cemetery. 
It was broken off its base by vandals and was secured last year but not sealed,
so it still attracted yellow jackets who were nesting inside it.  It has now been
completely sealed so the yellow jackets will have to find somewhere else.

  
These two stones, one for the George Bailey family and one for Amy Heater both had missing
bases that were found in the brush when the west end of the cemetery was cleared last summer. 
They have not been cleaned yet, but the bases have been installed and the tops secured.


This Baker monument also had a missing base that was found last summer, but unfortunately
the marble column had just been adhered to the concrete pad last spring, not knowing
that a full base existed.  The base is sitting next to it while we contemplate what to do next.

Thank you to everyone for your generous donations
that help make this restoration work possible!

Restoration Work in 2008

Thank you to everyone who contributed or helped in any way.

 

         


We had lots of visitors for the 2008 Memorial Day weekend and the cemetery looked especially beautiful. Thank you to everyone who took the time to tend and decorate their family monuments.

         


With your contributions and a grant from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries we have been able to reset and secure nearly 100 monuments that had been toppled or were loose and in danger of falling.  In mid-May Oregon Memorials grabbed a rare dry day and had a crew of three with a large boom truck working all day until they finally ran out of adhesive material.  Nearly all the tall marble columns have been reset and at last we even have the David Sears stone back up, which has been down since the 1980's. 


          
What's left to do?
We still have about nine monuments that are too tilted to reset and need to be dismantled to level their bases first.  The big Langston stone that was toppled by vandals last winter is still down; it was too complex a project to undertake at the same time as the rest of the cemetery.  We are waiting for a bid on the fence repair. 

 

 


 

 

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