As we anticipate gathering in Idlewilde Cemetery for another presentation of “Cemetery Tales,” the History Museum of Hood River County wishes to focus attention on the history of the cemetery itself. Our event is staged among Idlewilde’s tombstones and grave markers for good reason: A quiet beauty permeates this historical site.
Setting and mood are vital components of all artistic creations. And Idlewilde’s sculpted monuments, tall trees, and hedges encompassing peaceful stretches of lawn create a perfect backdrop. What a solemn gift Idlewilde Cemetery has given to the community: A beautiful and calm place to come and honor and remember the lives of those buried here. We are so grateful to be able to stage our re-enactments of local personalities, here where they lie surrounded by the palpable beauty of this locale.
The five-acre cemetery has anchored the corner that is now Brookside Drive and Tucker Road since it officially opened in 1895. However, even before 1877, burials took place on this site. While the town has grown up around the facility, the cemetery’s enclosed grounds offer peaceful views of adjacent pear orchards and more dramatic views of both Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Since 1971, Idlewilde Cemetery has been administered by the Hood River Masonic Lodge No. 105 A.F. & A.M. More than 8,000 people are now buried here, with another 2,000 ash placements. Remarkably, the graves are still dug with special care by hand.
To this traditional outlook have been added features broadening the scope of remembrance and celebration. Most significant is the oval plaza named the Bud Collins Walk of Honor. This dignified memorial honors the service of veterans. Commemorating the place beloved animals occupy in our lives, Idlewilde has also devoted an area as a pet cemetery.
All these daily operations are directed by Bob Huskey, appointed sexton/manager in 2007. We are grateful that he has also taken particular interest in “Cemetery Tales.” Bob’s contribution has been an essential component of the program’s success.
We extending a warm thank you, to Huskey and the members of the Masonic Lodge, who make up the cemetery board, for hosting us again.
We salute your work and honor the past lives of Idlewilde’s residents.
Cemetery Tales will be held Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at Idlewilde Cemetery. Tickets are available at the History Museum of Hood River County and online at
See page A10 for additional details.

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