svensen pioneer cemetery
It may be called Svensen (also known as Forest Hill), but this is no Norwegian cemetery, this is Finnish through and through. In fact, Finnish Oregon begins here and finishes at Ocean View in Warrenton. You can do the Finnish tour, if you’d like.

But of all the Finnish cemeteries, this is the jewel. Not more than an acre in size, decorated with a few small shrubs, it’s set within surrounding woods that don’t let you appreciate its comforting and enclosing nature until you’re inside the picket fence fronting it. The picket fence alone is a signal of extra care; the couple benches strategically placed bolster that impression; and the deal is sealed by the tidy kiosk just inside the gate, holding jugs, glass jars, plastic pots, and other decorating paraphernalia. The top shelf holds a photo of all twenty-one people who help maintain the place. There are larger cemeteries; there are fancier cemeteries; there are more dramatic cemeteries; there are cemeteries that have much richer stores of graphics and epitaphs; but there’s no cemetery more well loved and obviously of such comfort and pride to the descendants of the deceased (at least, that’s who I presume these Good Samaritans to be). One has to admire the Native-Americans, the Mexicans, and the Russians for the exuberance they bring to our cemeteries, but for a bunch of Northern Europeans, this cemetery is downright joyful. It begs the visitor to stop and tarry awhile.


Svensen is about eight miles east of Astoria on Hwy. 30. Find Svensen Market Rd. from new Hwy. 30 and take it south until it intersects with Old Hwy. 30. Take Old Hwy. 30 east to its intersection with Simonson Loop Rd. heading due south. Take that road. Sign to cemetery entrance will appear shortly on east side of the road.
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