Farmers planting a new vineyard near Salem have discovered a lost historic cemetery.

While digging up land on the Waldo Hills property off Howell Prairie Road, workers found a cluster of three headstone bases.

Research shows between five and 10 graves are there. They contain members of the Waldo family, a man named Drake and George Beale, who was hanged for murder in 1865.

Oregon Historic Cemeteries coordinator Kuri Gill is pleased the new owners didn't just plough over the land.

"It was a farm, so over the years, the markers were either moved or deteriorated over time," Gill says. "Some of them may have been wooden markers. It was basically plowed over for grass crops."

Pioneer Daniel Waldo originally owned the land. He served as a judge for Oregon's provisional government prior to statehood.

Volunteers will research the graves over the next couple of years. The hope is to eventually have a memorial on site, listing the names of those interred.