of the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries meet four times a year in
communities around the state. The purpose of the commission is to document and
support the preservation of historic cemeteries in Oregon. Any cemetery that
includes the burial of at least one person who died before the date that is 75 years before the current date
and is listed with the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries is considered
OCHC has developed position papers regarding best practices for historic cemeteries. Resources can be found on the Oregon Historic Cemeteries page.
Annual Meeting Schedule
The OCHC conducts quarterly meetings at sites around
Oregon. These meetings have a business session and often tour a of
historic cemeteries, history presentations or workshops. All meetings and activities
are free and open to the public.
Upcoming Meetings and Agendas
OCHC Business Meeting
April 6, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Redmond City Hall
411 SW 9th St, Civic Room 208
Online via Zoom
Draft July 2022 Minutes
Meeting information can be found on the agenda.
Follow this link to register for Zoom meeting access information. For translation or other access needs call 503-986-0690 at 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.
Restoring Native Plants in Central Oregon's Historic Cemeteries
April 6, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Redmond City Hall, Civic Room 208
Join Hayley Brazier, Curator of Natural History at the High Desert Museum, to learn about the benefits of supporting native plant species in historic cemeteries. Hayley will discuss the best places to source native plants, methods of removing unwanted invasives and weeds, and some challenges you may encounter when re-establishing native plants in your cemetery. This talk will highlight invasive and native plants common to Central and Eastern Oregon’s “dry side".
Historic Cemetery Marker Evaluation, Cleaning and Repair Workshop
April 7, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Redmend Memorial Cemetery
3545 S Canal Blvd.
FREE, registration required
It will address marker assessment, cleaning, leveling, resetting and repair. The workshop is presented by Dave Pinyerd and Bernadette Niederer of Historic Preservation Northwest. The City of Redmond is providing the site and a portion of the materials.
Participants should bring their lunch, snacks, water to drink, a stool or folding chair to sit on, gloves to wear, a hat, sunscreen, appropriate clothing as this is a hands-on workshop, comfortable shoes, a pen and note pad and camera if they want to take photos during the workshop. The workshop will take place rain or shine.
April 6-7, 2023 - Redmond
May 2023 - Teleconference, grant approval meeting
July 20-21, 2023 - Tillamook Area
October 19-20, 2023 - TBA
These dates, times and locations are subject to change.
For current information about the exact time and locations, or about agendas, contact Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries Coordinator.
Kuri Gill, Historic Cemeteries Program Coordinator
Koren Tippett, Archaeologist
Milo Reed, Portland (Chair)
Reed is a historian working with an emphasis on Black history. He has
worked with Oregon Black Pioneers, Vanport Mosaic and other heritage
efforts in the state. He has a personal interest in historic cemeteries.
Sarah Silbernagel, Pendleton (Vice Chair)
Silbernagel is an archaeologist based out of Pendleton. Her work takes
her out to remote places. Her interest in historic cemeteries is both
professional and person, as her family is involved in Oregon's historic
Sara Baylinson, Prinville
Sarah Baylinson is the Art Collection and Artist Services Specialist, they manage artist materials and records of the State’s Percent for Art in Public Places collection. Sarah previously served as the exhibitions coordinator and collections manager for the High Desert Museum, where they coordinated eight rotating exhibitions per year. Sarah continues to serve as a consultant for the State Historic Preservation Office's (SHPO) MentorCorps program, advising on moving collections, inventory management and other projects. Sarah has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Washington.
Peggy Drake, Sutherlin
Peggy Drake is a 4th generation resident of Sutherlin, Oregon. Peggy worked in banking and volunteered for several community organizations. She currently serves as secretary on the board of Fair Oaks Cemetery. In her spare time, Peggy enjoys camping and fishing with family and friends.
Johnny Edwards, McMinnville
Johnny Edwards began his membership within the fraternity of Freemasons in 2000 and since that time has taken on duties related to the archives and history of that organization in Oregon. In 2017, he was assigned the new Sexton and Caretaker of the McMinnville and Lafayette Masonic Cemeteries and he began organizing the cemetery records. He is now part of a larger statewide committee to support the care of Masonic cemeteries throughout the state. Recently, he was installed as the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Oregon.
Lisa Sears, Cloverdale
Lisa Sears is a genealogist and family history researcher who is actively volunteering in Tillamook County. Realizing that she had a natural curiosity about cemeteries and the histories that lie within, she visited a wide range of national and international cemeteries while researching or on vacation. After retiring from teaching in 2020, she started conducting outreach in Tillamook County to work on cemetery preservation and history as a community.
Shawn Steinmetz, La Grande
Shawn Steinmetz is an archaeologist who worked for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and now works for Hoyo, a cultural resources advocacy nonprofit. He has particular interest and experience in indentifying undocumented graves through non-invasive techniques.