lincoln memorial park
Large cemetery rambling up Mt. Scott (it was originally known as Mt. Scott Cemetery but changed its name in 1927) on the edge of Portland that could be dismissed as a lesser cousin to River View, which would be a mistake as it has more burial options than River View, including a couple of nice, hard-landscaped gardens as columbaria in a style suddenly becoming fashionable, one of which shelters under trees at the new entrance. There’s also a beautiful memorial garden with private plots and a stunning view north to Mt. Tabor, downtown, and the Cascades. This garden is joined by Portland’s most refined new private mausoleum, reputedly built at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. Older sections lower on the hill could use a little attention, but as one rises on the slope, things get better and better, until one arrives at the handsome new office and funeral home at the top. Lincoln Memorial has succumbed to the flat-stone menace in much of their newer grounds, but they have plenty of uprights to make for a proper cemetery experience, plus they’ve done a better job than anyone else in the region of both expanding in new directions, and fitting their new ventures “seamlessly” into the old.

The Portland Chinese Cemetery (q.v.) is also at the top of the hill, surrounded by Lincoln Memorial, but it would be another mistake to settle for the Chinese Cemetery alone, as Lincoln Park has done an admirable job of attracting Asian clients and is in the process (2005) of putting into a new Asian Garden. And “Asian” casts a broad net here including Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Pacific Islands, among others. There is an old Chinese section, as well, dating back to the early 20th century.

There are large public mausoleums as well as the scattered private few, which command expansive views over Portland. If it can’t compete with River View for cachet, it makes up for it in diversity. The Asians out of proportion to the general population like uprights and the private gardens. There’s a plethora of roads here so finding things can take some sleuthing, but your efforts are rewarded. There are a number of cemeteries in the region which can be considered children of Père Lachaise; this is one of the best and brightest. Furthermore, it’s across the road from Willamette National Cemetery, the government’s interpretation of Père Lachaise as unhindered park. Together they make up Portland’s largest cemetery space. Mount Scott being Portland’s other Boot Hill.

Directions:

Take Foster Rd. east from I-205 to 110th St. Turn south on 110th St., which soon becomes 112th St. Keep going past the entrance to Willamette National; Lincoln Memorial will be on your right. Or come up Flavel if that's easier.
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