July 12, 2010  9:52 AM

Metro’s Lone Fir Cemetery celebrates heritage tree designation and artistic tributes to Oregon settlers

Lone fir Cemetery preserves trees, cultural heritage Lone fir Cemetery preserves trees, cultural heritage.

Ceremony to include tribute to interred settlers, screening of film on cemetery's history

Bring a picnic and enjoy an evening of music and festivities at Metro's Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery July 24. The City of Portland is designating three trees in the 30-acre cemetery as Heritage Trees because of their historical significance. Metro, the city, and the Friends of Lone Fir are celebrating with an event on Saturday, July 24, from 6 to 10:30 p.m., during which there will be screenings of two short films about the cemetery's history and music by local artists.

The trees, to be dedicated in a 6 p.m. ceremony, include the cemetery's namesake Douglas fir; the General Joseph Lane maple; and a 100-foot incense cedar.

After the ceremonies Metro President David Bragdon will host an evening of music and movies in the cemetery. Featured artists include Ms. Onnie Irby and the Emmanuel Temple Gospel Choir performing the national anthem and gospel music. Portland musicians, Leigh Marble and Matt Sheehy will perform their original songs from the Friends of Lone Fir compilation CD, "Dearly Departed," about residents buried at Lone Fir. Proceeds from the CD are donated to a memorial planned for Block 14 in the southwest corner of the cemetery.

At twilight two documentaries featuring the cemetery will be shown. A short film "For the Living and the Dead," which debuted at this year's Portland Women's Film Festival, was created by St. Mary's Academy students Mackenzie Berkman, Erica Deffebach and Anna Klos. "Come Together Home," directed by Ivy Lin, examines the history of the Chinese community's connection to Lone Fir, including a look at how the remains of early Chinese settlers and rail workers buried at the cemetery were exhumed and returned to China.

Sponsors for the event include Metro, the City of Portland, Hui Lin Temple, the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The partners are expecting a large gathering, as they've made extra efforts to reach residents by working with neighborhood associations surrounding the cemetery. The event is free, but Metro encourages guests to bring canned food donations for the Oregon Food Bank. Pets are not allowed in any of Metro's parks or natural areas, including cemeteries. Alcohol is not allowed at the event.

Founded in 1855, Lone Fir is located is located between SE 20th and SE 26th Avenues; SE Stark and SE Morrison Streets. This is a car-free event. Off street parking only, bike parking will be available or Tri-Met stop IDs 4023, 4024 and 7216.

Get directions to Lone Fir Cemetery

Learn the history of Lone Fir

Read about the Block 14 memorial

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