UPDATE October 5, 2015: Meet the Pioneers 2015 is sold out!
It’s hard to believe that this year’s “Meet the Pioneers” program will mark our 10th Anniversary for this very popular and fun Jacksonville event. Who knew that our planned one-time event in 2006, to raise some much-needed funding for restoration and preservation work in the cemetery, would become an instant success and play to sold-out crowds each and every year since. Learning first-hand how important history is to those attending, lead to other successful programs such as History Saturday which began in 2011, Memorial Services honoring Veterans of the Civil War, World War I, and the placement of a Military Marker for a local Jacksonville resident and soldier who was killed in the Spanish American War. An increase in requests for special tours from school groups, retirement centers and other organizations have also been a result of our Meet the Pioneers program. None of this success would have been possible without all the wonderful and dedicated volunteers who make this program happen year after year, and all the support we receive from the community. So if you are one of our regulars, welcome back, and if you’re new to the area, you don’t want to miss this year’s Meet the Pioneers and the opportunity to learn some of the wonderful and interesting history that makes our Valley so special.
This year we will be featuring eight individual stops along the tour route where you will meet “The Jacksonville Saloon Ladies,” learn about the “Southern Oregon Pioneer Association,” hear about the railroad coming to Southern Oregon and “Jacksonville’s Cannonball,” a “White Collar Crime” right here in Jacksonville, and so much more!
For those of you who may not be familiar with our tours, they are guided Living History Walking Tours through the torch-lit Jacksonville Cemetery grounds. Spirits in period dress await visitors and share stories of their lives and the important events of the day. New stories and topics are presented each year.
Our tour dates are Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10 with the first tour departing at 4:00pm and then every 15 minutes until the last tour at 7:30pm. Tickets are sold by the departure time of the tour you would like to take. You may purchase tickets at the Jacksonville Visitor Center, located on Oregon Street, next to the Post Office, between 10:00am and 3:00pm, or by calling for reservations at 541-899-8118 during those same hours. The cost of the tickets remain the same as last year, $12 for adults, $5 for children (12 and under) and $29 for a family, two adults and up to 3 children. We are not set up to accept credit cards, so please pay cash or have checks made payable to: FOJHC (Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery). All tours depart from the D Street parking lot where you will be driven-up the cemetery hill to start your tour. Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your tour. If you will be picking-up your tickets at the event, please check in at our Will Call desk upon arrival. Tickets are sold at the event but only on a first-come-first-served space available basis. As the event normally sells-out , we encourage you to purchase tickets early to avoid being disappointed. The Oregon Old Time Fiddlers will be providing musical entertainment on Friday evening and the 4th Wednesday String Band will be playing on Saturday evening for your enjoyment. The tours take approximately one hour. This event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery, a Jacksonville-based non-profit organization with proceeds supporting our educational programs and ongoing cemetery restoration and preservation work. You may preview some of our previous shows by going to Youtube.com then typing in “Oregon History Tales” in the search box, then click on the Covered Wagon. Our website at www.friendsjvillecemetery.org, also provides additional details about this and other cemetery events and activities. Remember, the tours are in October, so dress for the weather.
I look forward to welcoming you to the Silent City on the Hill, and this year’s Meet the Pioneers.
Dirk J. Siedlecki
President – FOJHC