mountain view cemetery (oregon city)
Mountain View Oregon City (“Mountain View” may be the most popular cemetery name in Oregon) is an all-purpose cemetery, containing within itself pioneer fraternal order cemeteries all the way up to modern mausolea and “garden features”; from oak covered crumbling monuments to state of the art personalizations. Describing an enormous “L” with lumps, it easily covers twenty-five or more acres. Pound for pound it doesn’t compare with other, more intense, cemeteries, but it has more than enough detail to warrant anyone’s visit.

Besides, it’s in Oregon City, the by-passed capital of early Oregon. For most modern Oregonians, Oregon City hardly exists. It gets dismissed as “that town up by the falls”—Canemah writ large—having forgotten that the falls were one of the most important gathering spots in the territory prior to the arrival of the Euro-Americans. Oregon City feels older than most Oregon towns, which, frankly, is part of its charm. Sometimes it’s good to be forgotten; just ask Jacksonville.

It doesn’t help that Hwy. 213 is dubbed “End of the Trail Highway.” Being at the end of one’s trail is not always welcomed. There used to be an old-peoples’ home outside Springfield called “Twilight Acres,” as unfortunate a name as I can imagine. “End of the Trail” isn’t far off from “Twilight Acres.”

Nonetheless, it’s worth it to trudge up to Mountain View, if just to visit the grave of Peter Skene Ogden, who, for some reason, is never called just “Peter Ogden.” Pete showed up in Oregon in 1818, some thirty-five years before the first wagon trains began rolling into the state. Ogden, Utah, is named after him; and it was during an exploratory probe into eastern Oregon that two Sandwich Islanders were killed by the locals, donating their name evermore to the Owyhee River (Sandwich Islands = Hawaiian Islands; Hawaii = Owyhee).

Oregon City hasn’t been the political, intellectual, or cultural capital of Oregon for many years, and consequently elsewhere has drawn much of the creative spirit out of town, which partly accounts for the relatively small number of interesting stones. There are a couple Woodmen of the World stones in the older section, and if you head to the farthest reaches of the new sections, you’ll find a scattering of personalizations.

Directions:

Find Mollala Ave. leaving Oregon City towards the southeast, and take Hilda St. east off of it (there is a light). Cemetery at end of short street.
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