Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery

Help us ensure that the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery

benefits the community as a protected historical asset,

an educational resource, and

as a natural environment and urban green space.

Check the "Events" page for more information.


Marshfield High School continues to be a major partner in the cemetery’s care.

Donations received for this project are deposited in a designated fund at the school. 

Marshfield High School 
10th & Ingersoll 
Coos Bay OR 97420

The initial funds to purchase the materials for the fence included grants from the OPRD Historic Cemeteries
and the Coos Cultural Coalition and two significant contributions from private donors.
However, well over half of the money was raised through the “TLC4MPC $1 an Inch” campaign
with many small donations from individuals.
In order to complete the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery Fence Project,
we again encourage small investments to “Finish the Job!”
We are grateful for the generous donation from the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw
Special thanks to the Coos Bay Garden Club and their members, Marshfield High School ASB 8-9 for funding a panel!
Thanks also to the Marine Corps League-Coquille River Detachment
& a visiting MHS alum & her husband.

Thanks for your support!

Students from the MHS Manufacturing Class install a grid panel at the entrance to the cemetery.

Students from the 8/9 Leadership class do some prep work and plant some spring bulbs.

Current view of Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery entrance




Historically, the cemetery served as the Coos Bay region’s primary burying ground in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries -- a place where the community could pay its respects to local citizens or just enjoy the natural setting. The Marshfield I.O.O.F. Cemetery Association first considered fencing the cemetery in 1913, as the article from the Coos Bay Times indicates. By the 1930s, however, the cemetery was falling into disrepair and has continued to suffer from periodic bouts of neglect and vandalism. Thirty years ago, in 1983, the cemetery was enclosed with “an eight-foot-high fence with barbed wire on top and a new gate” that was meant to limit visitors “to those persons having a legitimate purpose.” Perhaps this decision did deter some vandalism in the cemetery, but it also helped to turn the cemetery from a community focal point to a forgotten and forbidden place.

With community support, the condition of cemetery has improved in the last decade: a database makes it possible to locate those buried in the cemetery, attractive signs have been donated and installed at the cemetery, volunteers have removed invasive species from the landscape, and the City of Coos regularly cuts the grass. Now, p
lans are underway to consider new fencing, a gate, and interpretive signs. It is hoped that these improvements will demonstrate the community’s continuing commitment to the cemetery’s care and welcome the increasing number of visitors who visit this sacred place each year. Collaboration with the City, Marshfield High School, veterans' and other civic groups, as well as relatives who can be contacted will be essential in order to accomplish the project. To help with funding, a grant from the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries will be sought.

*CEMETERY PLANS TALKED OVER" is from the Coos Bay Times,  June 11, 1913, page 1.