A grant has been awarded to begin researching the women buried in Oregon’s historic cemeteries.
The Oregon public agency Metro has begun an exciting new project diving into the stories of the women buried in the historic cemeteries. As a public agency, Metro is committed to promoting accountability and transparency in government, and to preserving its history for the benefit of decision-makers and the public.
To understand more about the female impact on the state, the Oregon Heritage Commission approved a grant of $9,997, which was matched by Metro, totaling just under $20,000 to commission researchers who will deep dive into the history of women in Portland’s past.
Throughout the year unearthed stories will be shared with the public. It will also be added to Metro’s new cemetery database, which will be accessible by the public for genealogy and research in the future.
Quinn Spencer, Metro cemetery researcher said; “This is the first step to bring attention to these women’s lives and honor them in some way.” Researchers will finally have time to understand the stories of these Oregon pillars of society. Decades-old death certificates and memorials often don’t include comprehensive information. Lax record-keeping disproportionately affects women, whose documents and headstones often only referred to them by their husbands’ names.
Emma Williams, a cemetery program coordinator at Metro said “Most of the stories we know are focused on prominent white men.” “This is an opportunity to find and share stories that exist but are rarely told.”
As death care professionals know, every gravestone has a story. And exciting grants such as this give new insights into who rests in our cemeteries and built the society we call home today.