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Pioneer Cemetery

8th & Auburn Way N
0.77 acres

Pioneer Cemetery 1Pioneer Cemetery is the resting place for some of Auburn’s earliest residents, primarily from the Japanese American community, and their descendants. The grounds at this historical site are under the care of the Cemetery Division of the Parks, Arts & Recreation Department.

Park History

In the 1860s the Faucett family began using this site as a family burial plot. Ownership was transferred to a group of community trustees in 1878, making the cemetery available for use by all. Over the ensuing decades, many pioneer settlers buried their loved ones there, but this land was prone to flooding, so when Mountain View Cemetery opened in 1890, many of the Caucasian pioneer remains were exhumed and moved up the hill, and Japanese immigrants (Issei) and their American born children (Nisei) became the primary users and stewards of the cemetery. In recognition of the care this community took of the cemetery, in 1914 a portion was granted to the White River Buddhist Temple for use by members of their congregation. Ownership of the cemetery was transferred to the City of Auburn in 1962.

Today burials at Pioneer Cemetery are rare, as space is limited to descendants of those already buried on site. Honoring this unique history, in 2016 the Pioneer Cemetery was designated as a City of Auburn Landmark ensuring that it will be preserved and cherished for years to come.

Read the official landmark nomination report (PDF) and view historic documents and photos (PDF) of the cemetery.