Visit James Bushnell’s Grave at Historic Pioneer Luper Cemetery over Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 29, 30

Luper Pioneer Cemetery will open the vehicle gate at 30391 Beacon Drive West (north of Eugene’s Santa Clara neighborhood) from 9 AM to 4 PM May 28, 29, 30 (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so people can walk the grounds and take a self-guided tour of this historic site.

Every year students from Bushnell University work alongside faculty, staff, and community members at the cemetery during “Embrace the Community (ETC) day”. Learn more about James Bushnell in The Beacon Magazine. 

In November of 1853 about 1000 pioneers arrived in the Willamette Valley by way of the Oregon Trail cutoff across central Oregon “to farm the fertile soil of the Willamette Valley, between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range” according to the McClure wagon train by-laws.

On Saturday and Sunday there will be information for completing a self-guided tour of the cemetery, including interpretive signs describing the 18 people from the wagon train who are interred at the cemetery.  On Monday, Memorial Day, there will be additional information displayed about the people who arrived in 1853 on the wagon train.  As an added bonus, on Memorial Day the Poodle Creek Pickers will be playing their down home music from 1 to 3 PM.


DIRECTIONS to Luper Pioneer Cemetery: From Eugene, follow River Rd. north to Beacon Drive, on the north boundary of Santa Clara, and follow signs west.  From Junction City, take River Rd. south, turn west onto Beacon Drive and travel about a ½ mile to a white metal gate, on the north side of Beacon Drive.  Proceed through the gate approximately 1/2 mile to the parking lot and cemetery entrance.   The cemetery may be accessed every day from dawn to dusk by walking the half-mile gravel road from West Beacon Drive to the cemetery. Please check for more information about the cemetery, and other resources.

Contact: Peter Thurston, President, Luper Cemetery Inc. 541-321-0798