Nathaniel Hamlin Grave, Baker County, Oregon

Nathaniel Hamlin Grave

     An interesting bit of Haines history is the grave located by the Quarry.  The grave is located just above the road near the Ingram's home.  The name of the man buried there is Hamelin; he was the father of Ben Hamlin who resided here at one time.  The story of this graves goes as follows;  it was the wish of this man to be buried at the crest of this hill where he owned and worked a mine, but on the day of his burial there were blizzard conditions and a great of snow making it impossible for the funeral procession to attain the crest of the hill, so they buried him near the road.

Nathaniel Hamlin
1818 - 1889



After questions were asked about this grave on the mail list, Gary took new pictures, and then went to the library and found additional information on Nathaniel Hamlin.

Sally Captured

Charles Sally, who viciously, shot at Ida Gilmore in a house of ill-fame last Monday night at Baker, is in the hands of the law. N. H. Hamlin and W. Hall, of Express (Durkee), acting deputy sheriffs, made the capture at the farm of Wm. Sally, near Express, an uncle of the prisoner. The culprit submitted quietly to arrest at 4 o’clock Wednesday afternoon and came peaceably with his captors to Baker, arriving at an early hour Thursday morning.

Sumpter News, Sumpter, Baker County, Oregon
September 4, 1897

Then he found:

Vernon Stewart

Haines Man Maintains Single Grave Of Miner Near Coyote Peak

By Lisa Britton, Record Courier

Haines-A lone grave resides next to the Haines Dump Road below Coyote Peak. This unlikely location is the resting place of Nathaniel Hamlin, whose life spanned from 1818 to 1889.

Vernon Stewart, retired Haines postmaster and member of the Haines Cemetery Board, has maintained this lonely gravesite on the outskirts of town for the past 20 years.

Stewart says that Hamlin had a mine up on Coyote Peak and

requested to be buried there when he died. Unfortunately he passed away in the winter time, and no one could make it to the top of the hill. It ended up that he was buried halfway up the hill.

"The road used to be farther away from it, but not anymore," Stewart says. The grave protected by a wrought Iron fence is nearby five feet from the road. The grave used to be separated from the sagebrush hillside by a picket fence, but that was burned down when a fire swept through the area.

"The old graveyards used to have fences around the lots," Stewart said. This section of fencing came from the Haines Cemetery when they decided it was too time-consuming to mow around and removed the fencing.

Stewart cleans the grave thoroughly once a year, and this summer he hopes to put a graveyard marker on the fence. Stan Ingram, who owns the land beside the grave, donated the granite headstone identifying Hamlin.

People just drive past and never know it's there," he says.

Stewart's parents came to this area in a covered wagon in 1884 and they knew Hamlin.

Then he learned:

Fred and Ben Hamlin visited the grave of Nathaniel Hamlin, Fred's great-grandfather, who died near Haines in 1887

By Debby Schoeningh, Baker City Herald

Haines-A pilgrimage to search out their family history led Fred Hamlin, a high school teacher from Ashland, has always been interested in his family's ancestry and wanted to share his heritage with Ben on his 12th birthday which was earlier this year.

Hamlin wrote to Evelyn Fisher at the Haines Museum in February searching for his great-grandfather Nathaniel Hamlin's grave, which was believed to be near Haines. Fisher found the long grave located East of Haines at the base of Coyote Peak.

The grave originally had a picket fence, which was destroyed in a fire that burned nearly 70 acres in this area during the 1960's.

Vernon Stewart, a member of the Haines Cemetery Board, had Warren and David Mays of his Boy Scout troop earn their Eagle Scout badges by replacing the fence with a rod iron one in 1978. He said, "I just knew one day someone would come looking for it and I wanted it to be presentable. I think it's important to preserve some of the little things in our area."

Hamlin said his great-grandfather had a silver mine near the top of Coyote Peak and asked to be buried there. However, he died in the winter of 1887 and the snow was too deep to carry out his request, so was buried as close to the peak as possible.

Hamlin tells a story that was handed down in his family of how Nathaniel would place his silver minds on a mule's back, give him a slap and the mule would head down the hill to his wife. She would then take the silver, sell it and by a grub-stake (provisions), which she in turn placed on the mule's back, gave it a slap on the backside and he would go back up the hill to her husband. Nathaniel and his wife had 14 children.

Ben said he learned a lot on this trip about his great-great-grandfather Nathaniel. Ben and his dad learned Nathaniel's father also had an interesting history.

He was Hannibal Hamlin, vice president to Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1865 during Lincoln's first term.

Leaving the Democratic party in 1856, Hannibal strongly opposed slavery and helped organize the Republican party as an anti-slavery opposition group. He was not selected to serve a second term because Lincoln wanted a democrat on the Republican ticket, and Andrew Johnson was elected instead. A statue of Hannibal, who was born in Paris, Maine, was placed in the Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., in 1935.

Ben said he is enjoying his tour of Eastern Oregon. Despite acquiring a sunburn at Lehman Hot Springs he thought it was a great place. The pair plan on spending some time along the Columbia River on their, return trip and will visit his grandmother in Portland.

Hamlin said, "It's really wonderful to be able to share this with my son.

"This is his heritage and I appreciate the people involved in maintaining areas like my great-grandfather's grave site for us to visit."

Our thanks to Lisa and Debby for allowing us to use their articles, Gary for taking the time to find the additional information on a very interesting person. Vernon Stewarts family and Belva Ticknor had copies of the original articles from the newspapers.

Note: Vernon Stewart passed away in 2007.

Haines Index



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