If you’re ever in the St. Helens, Oregon neighborhood, take a little jaunt up Pittsburg Rd. You’ll find a small green square tucked into the side of the road, across the street from Yankton Community Fellowship church, formerly Yankton Baptist Church. I got the tip from the owner of the bowling alley on Highway 30. She was a firecracker delight to talk to, and if I had time, I would have stayed and bowled a couple games. But I had a mission.
Yankton Cemetery, also known as Old Yankton Cemetery or Yankton Hillcrest Cemetery, wasn’t too far off Highway 30. There’s not much parking right at the cemetery, so if you visit, you could probably park across the street. (Note the old church in the photos – it was demolished in August 2016.) The first thing you’ll notice is a very nice carved wooden sign, noting the cemetery was established in 1888 (the church in 1893). It seems the latest helpers were an Eagle Scout troop and Benjamin Herendeen. Unfortunately, no other information is available about their efforts. The earliest-born resident was born in 1830.
Of note were several World War Veteran medallions. They reminded me of the Confederate markers found in the South Carolina cemeteries we featured in the last newsletter. Other memorials reflected the logging industry of the area by using branches to create the lettering on the headstones. The area is very quiet and peaceful, nestled alongside a rural road with the sounds of nature as the soundtrack. I hope you enjoy the photos and this video.