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Adams Cemetery clean-up causes confusion
Kristen Wohlers
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A new Adams Cemetery board is implementing longstanding cemetery rules, held clean-up in May.

Recently, some took to social media complaining that items have gone missing from grave sites at Molalla's Adams Cemetery. The debate centered on whether the items were stolen or if rules had changed and the items were removed for easier mowing.

Well, neither conclusion is exactly accurate.

The Adams Cemetery Association did hold a clean-up at the cemetery in May, removing items that were not allowed according to association rules, said Bob Oblack, cemetery association board member.

But the rules aren't new, according to Lisa Wenz of Molalla Funeral Chapel and liaison for the cemetery. She said the rules have been in place since the 1990s.

However, there is a new board implementing the rules. After former leaders left, a new board formed in July 2018. The new board is made up of volunteers, Oblack said, who care about maintaining this precious gem called Adams Cemetery.


This new board updated the association's rules document, and according to Oblack, is working to make the rules more public.

Per the rules, items that are not allowed include trees, plants, candles, poles and posts, lights, toys, glass, wooden crosses or markers and more.

The document notes that the rules are in place for the purposes of: public safety, to facilitate the maintenance of the cemetery and to promote a pleasant environment.

As for the maintenance of the 10-acre cemetery, Oblack admitted the lawn maintenance person recently resigned. The association is seeking a new lawn maintenance person by June 21. Those interested can view more information here or by emailing .

Oblack also acknowledged that there has recently been a mole problem on the grounds, which is difficult to take care of due to foot traffic and mowing, and that the cemetery can only be mowed so often due the cost.

The cemetery uses dollars from two funds—a memorial fund established by Nell Adams and Mildred Harless and a general cemetery fund to which anyone can donate. Those interested in donating can mail funds to Adams Cemetery Association at P.O. Box 209, Molalla, OR, 97038 or contact the association by email at

While the volunteers are doing their best to keep the cemetery in good shape, Oblack pointed out that the cemetery depends on a combined effort.

He noted that when someone buys a grave site and puts a headstone in, they own that space. "It's their responsibility to take care of it," Oblack said.

Oblack recalled when he was younger visiting the grave sites of family members with his parents. They would tidy up the grave and scrape moss off.

"It was kind of this civic responsibility to take care of your relatives' grave sites," Oblack said.

"The message I want to give out is that that cemetery is a partnership with the community and those that have their relatives there and the Adams Cemetery Association," Oblack said. "It's a partnership."

Adams Cemetery is located at 32850 S. Adams Cemetery Rd. in Molalla. The cemetery is on county land, per Oblack. It is patrolled by county police and sometimes by Molalla Police as a courtesy.

Those who have further concerns or questions can email the cemetery Association at

adamscemetery or call Oblack at 503-708-0083.

Kristen Wohlers


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