[Heritage] Willamette National Cemetery listed in the National Register of Historic Places

ZELLER Tracy * OPRD Tracy.Zeller at oregon.gov
Thu Jul 21 12:06:13 PDT 2016

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

NEWS RELEASE                                  July 21, 2016


Diana Painter, Architectural Historian, State Historic Preservation Office
503-986-0668; Diana.Painter at oregon.gov

Willamette National Cemetery listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon is among Oregon's latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1950 Willamette National Cemetery is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Portland in Clackamas and Multnomah Counties, Oregon. Situated along Mt. Scott Boulevard, the 307-acre cemetery provides scenic views of four mountains, the City of Portland, and the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.

The Willamette National Cemetery was the first national cemetery in the northwest United States, followed by the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Honolulu, HI) and Puerto Rico National Cemetery (Bayamon, PR). Though authorized by Congress in 1941, the cemetery's development was delayed by the onset of World War II. After the war, the establishment of new national cemeteries was necessary to accommodate the growing veteran population.  With burials beginning in 1951, Willamette National Cemetery contained 151,043 interments as of June 2012.

The Willamette National Cemetery utilizes only flat granite markers, rather than upright marble markers. This modern aesthetic, influenced by the lawn and memorial park movements, takes advantage of the site's natural scenic qualities, allowing native trees and uninterrupted views to define the cemetery.

The National Park Service has stated that all National Cemeteries are to be considered eligible for listing in the National Register "as a result of their Congressional designation as nationally significant places of burial and commemoration." Willamette National Cemetery is one of two in Oregon. The second cemetery, Eagle Point National Cemetery, is significant in part for its historic association with Camp White, a World War II-era military training center in Jackson County. The Eagle Point National Cemetery was recommended for listing in the National Register by the Oregon State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation in their February 2016 meeting.

The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on "National Register" at left of page).

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