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Bay City Historical Cemetery Tour Gives Plenty of Moody Oregon Coast Vibes

Published 09/06/23 at 7:07 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Bay City Historical Cemetery Tour Gives Plenty of Moody Oregon Coast Vibes

(Bay City, Oregon) – Maybe it's spooky – maybe it's not. Either way, touring a north Oregon coast cemetery for its history lends itself to an extra dose of atmosphere for the season. (Tillamook Historical Society photos)

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Bay City, right on Tillamook Bay, is a place you usually zip through on the way to somewhere else on the Oregon coast. Now, however, you have a reason to linger for part of an afternoon, as the Bay City IOOF presents Journey Through Time: Bay City Cemetery Tour and Preservation Workshop on September 16. It's a guided walk through the Bay City IOOF Cemetery, a resting place for generations of pioneers and community members, many of which made history in the area.

It takes place 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

You'll discover tales of resilience, triumphs and tidbits of everyday life from the area's past, as you visit the resting sites of notable individuals from the Tillamook Coast.

You'll utilize the Find A Grave app on the tour, using it to navigate these historical waters. It's a powerful tool for genealogy enthusiasts and history fans. You'll discover how to locate grave markers, access historical information, and you'll even get to contribute to the memorialization of those who rest in that cemetery.

The tour wraps up with a demonstration of the safest way to clean gravestones with a D/2 biosolution.

Lisa Sears, of the Tillamook Historical Society, told Oregon Coast Beach Connection this will be an immersive experience, and a way to connect with fellow history buffs.

This north Oregon coast resting place is one of the oldest in the region.

“Bay City IOOF Cemetery was established in 1856 and was originally called the Kilchis Cemetery,” Sears said. “It is still an operational cemetery. People from all walks of life are interred there from the Tillamook tribe, early settlers, and ordinary local folks.”

Among them may be one very prominent first nation member, whose name you'll recognize from various landmarks here.

“Chief Kilchis was part of the Tillamook Native American tribe which later became part of the Siletz Confederated tribe,” Sears told Oregon Coast Beach Connection. “A number of Chief Kilchis’ family members are interred in this cemetery. Rumor has it that Chief Kilchis himself is buried there but no one knows for sure.”

Sears said lots of pioneers of the area are interred here.

“These settlers include Warren Vaughn and his family and the William Doughty family that included daughter Lucy Doughty who was a local historian,” she said. “Lucy came to Tillamook County with her family in 1870 as a young child. She has a written account going to the cemetery 1874 for the first time. There are many incredible stories about both of these families as well as other early settlers.”

Then there's a local pioneer in other ways. Dr. Edith Pauline Alderman was born in the 1890s and died in 1983, having been a woman with a prestigious degree at a time when that just wasn't done.

“She lived an extraordinary life which included attending Juilliard, University of Southern California, University of Edinburgh, and University of Strasbourg becoming one of the creators of the Music Department of USC,” Sears said.

Organizers say you should bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen and hats, your mobile device and / or note-taking materials. tillcohs@gmail.

Bay City Cemetery is at 7555 Doughty Road, Tillamook.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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