A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Don’t get lost when visiting here

Written January 28th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
Better not to rely on the compass rose on this otherwise helpful sign.

It’s better not to rely on the compass rose on this otherwise helpful sign.

“East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”? Maybe so, but Rudyard Kipling never visited Albany’s Masonic Cemetery, where east is west and west is east, and a visitor relying on the sign may get easily confused.

This is the cemetery off the north end of Broadway Street in west Albany. And as you can see, for visitors there’s a helpful marker near one of the entrances explaining the history of the cemetery. It even points out, more or less, the grave of Delazon Smith, cofounder of Albany’s first newspaper and one of Oregon’s first two U.S. senators. (He and his brother-in-law started the weekly Oregon Democrat on Nov. 1, 1859, mainly, as they said, “to make war on the Salem clique.”)

Just don’t try to get your bearings from the compass directions printed on the sign. There, north points in the direction of what is south on the map, and vice versa. No harm seems to have been done. There is no report of any living person getting lost in the cemetery and not being able to find his way out. (hh)

That tall monument back there marks Delazon's  grave.

That tall monument back there marks Delazon’s grave.



8 responses to “Don’t get lost when visiting here”

  1. tom cordier says:

    the logo with pointers is accurate. the map is laid out with north being on the left. that allows to map to have a shape that fits the prescribed sign dimensions.

  2. Bill Kapaun says:

    Looks to me like the “compass” on the sign only needs to be turned 1/4 turn clockwise.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Well, make that 180 degrees or a half turn. (hh)

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        Now I get what you are saying-
        The whole sign should be rotated CCW 1/4 turn and then the “compass” rotated 180 degrees.
        Please ignore previous post.

        • Hasso Hering says:

          The sign is fine. Only the compass rose has to be reversed so that the N points to the north on the map. (hh)

          • Kay Burt says:

            Interesting comments. I had hoped that nobody would notice for a few months while we try to figure out a “good” fix for the compass. One of our grant folks put the compass in w/o checking with the rest of us, unfortunately.
            I suppose the main point of the sign, however, is that the cemetery needed some identity–first as a Masonic cemetery (since folks today don’t know what the symbols are on the brick fence entrances), and second–as an historic cemetery with some interesting locals buried there. As a side note, it would have been easier to orient the sign east and west, but there are folks buried in private plots, and we could find only a narrow strip which oriented north and south next to the main gate. Yes, taking on these projects can ben “thankless” at times, but the OR historic cemeteries grant people were a major help in getting us the signage. We’ll try to fix the compass orientation soon!
            Kay Burt, Albany Regional Museum board member and grant member

  3. Mike Ransom says:

    Looks like the “Salem clique” got back at the Albanians. I see the sign was funded by an Oregon State Parks / Historical Cemetery grant. Must’a’ been them, as I’m sure the Albany Regional Museum knows which way is North.


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