Crescent Grove Cemetery & Mausoleum
While driving down Greenburg Road, a lovely, well-maintained cemetery located east of Washington Square is tucked in between Hall Boulevard and 217: Crescent Grove Cemetery & Mausoleum. Tigard’s only non-profit, non-denominational cemetery celebrated 165 years of service in 2017. Part of the Davies Land Grant, the original area of cleared ground was in a crescent shape, which gave the cemetery its name. It is one of the oldest, historic pioneer cemeteries in the Portland metro area. Visitors coming to the cemetery will find headstones dating as far back as 1852.
As a local Southwest Community landmark, many of Tigard’s original families are buried here. Some names on earlier headstones, taken from a map of the Tigard area, include the early generations of these families: Tigard, Gaarde, Greenberg, Frewing, Teufel, Barnese, Elsner, and Hall, which are all buried in the cemetery and mausoleum.
Around 1929, Henry Erickson, whose farm adjoined the cemetery land that is now Washington Square, started maintaining the grounds and hand-digging the graves. When Henry died in 1964, the Croft family took over as caretakers of the cemetery until 1994.
The cemetery now has a five-member board that was elected by the members of the Crescent Grove Cemetery Association to oversee the cemetery. There is a general manager and a staff of three who operate the cemetery on a daily basis.
The cemetery occupies 21 acres, which includes mausoleum crypts and traditional ground burial for casket placement, niches, and urn and scatter gardens for cremated remains. Crescent Grove Cemetery puts a percentage of each sale of the grave or cremation space into the Endowment Care Fund, which provides future funds for cemetery maintenance.
One tombstone reads, “Gone Home,” and has a finger pointing to the heavens. It was reported that during a major windstorm in the mid-1990s a huge tree crashed down, lining up precisely in between rows of tombstones and harming none. Construction of a new road with a turn-around began in May 2016. It will add approximately 3,000 graves: a combination of adult, youth, baby and cremation spaces. Platting, layout and design are still in process. The new section will be ready to begin sales in spring or summer of 2018. There are plans in the works to build a new office building in 2018-2019.
Since 2001, Crescent Grove hosts an Easter Sunrise Service. Every Memorial Day, the Tigard American Legion Post #158 has a ceremony. Visit Crescent Grove at 9925 SW Greenburg Road, Tigard, OR 97223 and at CrescentGroveCemetery.com
adapted from crescentgrovecemetery.com