Jacksonville Historic Cemetery #2

June 25, 2019
We jumped ahead of ourselves yesterday, but today really is History Trivia Tuesday! There are enough historic myths going around without Historic Jacksonville, Inc. adding to them, so we want to correct our June 18th post about the gates to Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery on West E Street. The cemetery’s Friends were kind enough to give us the true “skinny.” When James Napper Tandy Miller set aside the original cemetery acreage in 1859, he did require the cemetery to be fenced. A white picket fence was erected at the top of Cemetery Hill, but the original gates were probably wood. At some point the wooden gates were replaced with the familiar metal arch and gates. Photos show they were there no later than 1912 but did not date to the cemetery’s official opening in 1860. Later the original metal arch and gates were moved to their current location at the bottom of the hill—possibly in 1923 in conjunction with Alice Applegate Sargent funding the Cemetery Road wall in commemoration of her husband. Pieces were subsequently added to the arch and gates to increase their height and width, allowing motorized vehicles to pass through and under. The arch and gates that now sit at the entrance to the cemetery are the same arch and gates that originally sat at the top of Cemetery Road. In 2018, the City of Jacksonville paid for them to be restored to their original color and state—with one exception. The side pieces were angled to increase the structure’s stability, allowing an increase to the width of the entry of one of the oldest pioneer cemeteries in the Pacific Northwest.