Jackson Pioneer Cemetery: Coping with change
The city will hold a hearing on StonePlace construction that abuts the pioneer cemetery during the Molalla City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec.11, at the Molalla Adult Center.
On Feb 1, 1850, William E. Larkins was buried on the Larkin Donation Land Claim, only three years after he and his wife Rachel arrived in the Molalla country to carve out a homestead. Soon after, people on neighboring homesteads, most of them small children, died and were buried on the same plot of ground. They were all Jackson, Dibbles, Larkins, Austins or Starkweathers. They were buried just west of Bear Creek, near what is today Ona Way.
The cemetery, known today as the Jackson-Dibble-Larkins-Austin Cemetery, contains at least 44 recorded graves. Today, many of the tombstones are battered and broken by vandalizing teenagers over the years, or missing altogether.
But people have tried to keep the historic plot preserved and cared for.
At one time, the cemetery was described as one mile west of the Four Corners of Molalla. But in the past few months, it has been encroached upon by a new apartment complex and mini storage development known as StonePlace.
Neighbors are concerned about the preservation of the historic cemetery and the former Molalla Indian lands surrounding it.
The city will hold a hearing Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. that will address this issue and related issues. The public is encouraged to attend.