sparlin cemetery
If you’re dying to get away from it all, Sparlin and Gotcher, two small cemeteries tickling Williams, OR might just do the trick. Neither is large, both are typical pioneer cemeteries for this neck of the woods, and both are fairly long and narrow, with the majority of the graves in both cemeteries clustering along the edges of the cemeteries farthest from the road, as if neither group wanted to have anything to do with the other.

The arrangement of these two reminds me of The Falls City and Falls City IOOF Cemeteries: similarly long and narrow graveyards opposing each other over a country road. Cemeteries clustering together is not unusual—common might be the better term. Exactly why hasn’t been explored beyond the tendency of likes to gather regardless. In any event, it makes cemetery hopping easier. Neither Sparlin nor Gotcher is going to make anyones favorite cemetery list, unless they happen to have someone buried there; but at the same time, they’re pleasant, well maintained rural enclaves that will probably avoid inundation by exurbia for a long time. There are a number of interesting markers here, several of which are homemade. The folks in Williams are lucky.

As noted elsewhere, beyond Williams is an impenetrable wilderness and a place called California. Or so we’re told. Proceed at your own risk.


There are two roads, not far apart, leading to Williams from Hwy. 238, which runs between Jacksonville and Grants Pass. The westerly of the two is Watergap Rd. and the easterly is Williams Hwy. The roads, both heading south from the highway, meet after a couple miles before heading into Williams, such as it is. Sparlin Cemetery lies to the east of Watergap (aka Westside) Rd. shortly before the two roads meet. Gotcher Cemetery is across the road from Sparlin.
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