In 2002, Crescent Grove Cemetery & Mausoleum, Tigards only non-profit, non-denominational, celebrated 150 years of service. The cemetery was 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.
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 Tigard's, Gaarde's, Greenburg's, Frewing's, Tuefel's, Barnese's, Elsner's, and Hall's, 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 and did so until 1994.
Now the cemetery 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 that operate the cemetery on a daily basis.
The cemetery now 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.
While driving down Greenburg Road, between Hall Boulevard and 217, there is a lovely, well-maintained cemetery located east of Washington Square. If you are not looking for it, you may not see it. Visitors coming to the cemetery will find headstones dating as far back as 1852.
The cemetery contains one sarcophagus, which reads, "Mary A. Bryan 1816–1898. Gone, But Not Forgotten." Some graves are inscribed with exactly how long the person lived, such as "Charles Wood, Son of Edward and Ann M. Wood, Died Feb. 10, 1978, 19 years, 11 months, and 28 days."
Another 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 between near rows of tombstones and harming not a one.
Wilson Tigard, who settled in Washington County, Oregon, gave his name to first the town of Tigardville, which later became Tigard. For more information on this pioneer's account of travel, just take a stroll through the grounds that reveals some interesting historical footnotes.