Our family has a interesting family tree. On our mother’s side we have a wonderful relative that has been collecting information, letters, visiting home countries, and constructing detailed and far-reaching family trees. Yet on our father’s side we haven’t done as much of that.
At a recently family gathering, a few relatives on that side were reminiscing. In the course of the discussion, it was revealed that one of the branches lead to family that lived in Portland, OR. An aunt remembered they were buried in a cemetery ‘overlooking the Willamette’.
Well, there are a lot of cemeteries that could fit that description, but we felt odds were good we could find them with some internet searches. Turns out, however, they were not listed anywhere I looked. Instead, a cousin managed to find them at the Wilhelm Memorial Mausoleum – made famous partly by Chuck Palanuck’s book “Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon”. Unfortunately, when I had looked them up via their online search page – they weren’t listed. A testament to the fact that not all information is on the internet.
I have had some time off the last few days, so I called them up and went over just before closing time. The mausoleum buildings were very nice and somewhat extensive on the ridge of the hill in the Sellwood district of Portland. Yet, like an iceberg, this was only the tiny visible tip of a much, MUCH larger structure. The greeter gave me a map and told me where I could locate them. I was buzzed into the crypts and went to find them.
First off, the place is MASSIVE. There are at least 5 floors that extend through the hillside. Room after room of crypts.
I finally arrived at The Hall of Apostles – where I was told they were buried.
And here they are:
One of my aunt’s remembered that Claude had said he would be buried in a spot where they could overlook the river – and sure enough – this was the view.