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From the Archives

Oregon Statesman, New Year’s Edition, 1 Jan 1899, 24:2

Sublimity is one of the most prettily situated town in the valley, standing upon an elevated ridge at the south end of the long range of "Waldo Hills" and overlooking in every direction one of the most beautiful and fertile stretches of country the eye could wish to behold. The town and the country surrounding it for a few miles is settled largely by Roman Catholics, there being nearly 100 families of that persuasion tributary therto. There is a large Catholic Church, St. Boniface’s which is in charge of Rev. F. Lamek, who has a numerous congregation. There is also a Catholic parochial school, taught by the Sisters of the Precious Blood, with from 60 to 75 pupils constantly. The past season an additional new building became necessary for this school.

Sublimity has also a fine public school building, with a large attendance and good teachers. Of course there is also quite a population in the neighborhood who are not Catholics. It is a very prosperous community in every way. There are two good general stores, a blacksmith shop, shoe shop, dressmaking, a saloon, etc.

Grain, fruit and hop culture, dairying and stock raising form the leading features of the agricultural pursuits of this section and the surroundings of the inhabitants indicate much thrift, enterprise, freedom from debt and general comfort.

Property in and around Sublimity is a desirable and sure investment.

The town has two daily mails, telephone service, and is bur four miles from a railroad station. It is fifteen minutes southeast of Salem.

Capital Journal 8 Oct 1979 1B
By Alfred C. Jones

SUBLIMITY – Smoke floats up from burning brush piles on top of the highest hill east of here as 35 volunteers, with combined reverence and festivity, clear the rediscovered Hobson-Whitney Cemetery.

While some of the Sunday workers applied brushed to the headstones of their ancestors or used industrial glue to mend broken tombstones, others used chainsaws, brush cutters and rakes carefully among graves of pioneers who had arrived in these hills as early as 1838.

Keeping records of their discoveries and supplying descendants with family data from her own extensive file was the job of Addie Dyal, Marion County Historical Society vice president and a moving spirit in the Willamette Genealogical Society.

In her continuing inventory of cemeteries, Salem school librarian Dyal was there for the second time with volunteers after author-history buff Maynard Drawson had penetrated the hilltop jungle after hearing stories of its existence.

A rumor that Indian Chief Santiam was buried in the southwest corner of the cemetery near a big maple tree had lured Drawson.

The brush had been so thick, he said, that no headstone was visible unless a person forced his way into the thicket. Of the 200 burials believed to be there, some originally had wooden markers which were destroyed by uncontrolled brush fires.

But on Sunday, and at a previous Sunday work party, part of the excitement was finding more headstones, or the arrival of descendants who came to see where their forefathers and foremothers were buried.

Young Curt Bolen read every word on each marker, having been told he was the sixth generation down the ladder from Absalom Greenstreet, born in 1797. He helped decipher the inscription on the marker of Almena Brown, wife of James Davis Brown, who died in 1863 at the age of 23:

"Oh when our sun is setting ma [may] we glide
Like summer evening down the golden tide
And leave behind us as we pass away
Sweet starry twilight around our sleeping day [clay]."

It was Salem Dixon, 14, who apparently was the first buried in the Cemetery on Archibald Rader’s donation land claim in 1853. The boy from Shelby County, Iowa, died, said the marking, of "accidental shooting."

Work stopped for a while to organize a cemetery association board to plan perennial care and to invite everyone back next Sunday.

For more information regarding Sublimity see:

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