crescent grove cemetery
The largest, nicest cemetery flying under the radar. There are larger cemeteries around—River View, Skyline Memorial, Lincoln Park, to name a few—but at 21.4 acres Crescent Grove is reasonably sized, and it maintains two mausolea with an attractive stone memory court and a set-aside for children’s graves, as well. It’s very well maintained with luxuriant lawns and mature trees, yet it can’t be exorbitantly priced, as the Russians have discovered it. Beyond Russians, moreover, as there is a considerable diversity of cultures represented among the new stones. What’s truly surprising about the cemetery is its location immediately behind Washington Square. In spite of its proximity to ten thousand frantic shoppers and being fronted by busy Greenburg Rd., Crescent Grove remains an island of calm; and in spite of its size, it remains pretty much a secret.

As a private, non-denominational cemetery operating since 1852, it is one of the earlier cemeteries around, older, for example, than Lone Fir or Salem Pioneer. This is no Johnny-come-lately in the suburbs, though it’s not as artfully arranged as River View. More on the Lone Fir model, but without the odd eccentricities. Due to tradition, it still allows uprights; and in the modern tradition, more and more stones bear lengthy inscriptions, something which disappeared in the inter regnum between the introduction of granite and the mechanization of stone cutting.

Crescent Grove has a lot of good reads, but in particular it boasts the remarkable sculptured bronze head of Andrés Peacock (1973-1995), one of the more dramatic markers in the region.

Directions:

9925 SW Greenburg Rd., behind Washington Square.
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