We needed some help & help we got ...
Jun 4, 2011
|I am determined to find the Crabtree graves! With that, we left the FMCA rally and started driving armed with a cell phone picture of 3 cemeteries in the area near Crabtree, Oregon. We drove into Lebanon, Oregon but the main street was blocked off for a strawberry festival. We drove Southeast from town and stopped at an Ace Hardware store with the intentions of asking directions and buying a local map.
Charlie approached the saleslady who said...wait here! She came back with the names of the people buried at the Crabtree-Prine grave site printed out for us and the street address of the property owner where the graves were now located-YES, on private property.
We found the address, we drove down the long dirt road that led to a large 2-story home.
The owner answered Charlie's knock on the door, and told us...YES! he had the graves and to follow him further on down the road to a spot behind the barn.
He said he had plans to put up a wrought iron fence around the graves at some future date. He said the historical society had been out to see the graves and told him that they felt there were more graves on this plot of dirt than were originally told to him.
The property owner said he had constructed the (very) large metal barn on that portion of ground and would be upset if he was told to tear it down for the other graves that may or may not be there - in addition to the 5 or 6 shown on our list.
We took our pictures and took leave. The property owner was very friendly and mentioned that the historical society people told him to lay the brown (oldest) headstones face down in the dirt to preserve them.
Personally, I feel the constant contact with the ground (wet ground) is dissolving the carving on the headstones. It is impossible to read the verse at the bottom of one of the stones now, let alone in a few more years.
I ran the name Crabtree for Linn County on my computer and found more Crabtree names in at least one other Linn County cemetery - the Masonic cemetery in Lebanon. We stopped there too but the office was closed.
Carol Dean Crabtree told me recently in an email that there have been at least 2 other members of the Crabtree family that have visited the Crabtree graves. I thought up to that time, I was going to be the first one to find them, but being #3 in this case is okay. I did it for me!
Question: who owns the actual graves themselves? and could they be rescued and put somewhere else? where else?