Volunteers help clean up cemetery of Eugene founding fathers

Volunteers help clean up cemetery of Eugene founding fathers

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EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene's Masonic Cemetery is a place of history.

Established back in 1859, it is now the resting place for a number of Eugene's founding fathers.

You have Eugene and Mary Skinner, the first settlers.

Thomas Condon, geologist and missionary.

And it's still an active cemetery, mixing old with new.

But remember the ice storm back in February?

The damage can still be seen here on the hill.

"Yes, yes, there is plenty of work to be done out here," said Gerald Morsello, taking part in a work party at the cemetery for the first time.

After 20 years pitching in at the cemetery, Tomoko Sekiguchi feels at home.

"I live close by, so it's kind of an extention of my yard I feel like," Sekiguchi said. "If you go on campus and know the names of the buildings, well a lot of the people who they are named after are buried here: Prince Lucien Campbell is in the mausoleum; Maude Kern is just up the hill."

But cleaning up this cemetery is no walk in the park.

It's walking up hill after hill.

It's getting down - and dirty.
    
And if you're lucky, you may just leave with a few battle wounds.

"It only hurts when I wash it," Morsello said of his wound.

So why do they do it?

"Anything that gets a person outdoors in a natural setting, there can't be anything better really," Morsello said.

They do it not just for themselves - but for others, so they can come jog, bike, photograph, walk their dog - all while enjoying the beauty.