River View Cemetery (Portland, Oregon)

River View Cemetery, located in the southwest section of Portland, Oregon in the United States, is a non-profit cemetery founded in 1882. It is the final resting place of many prominent and notable citizens of Oregon, including many governors and U.S. Senators.[1] Other notable burials include Henry Weinhard's family, Lyle Alzado, a football player as well as an actor, and Carl Mays a baseball player, remembered for killing an opposing player with a pitch in a Major League game,[2][3] and famous western lawman Virgil Earp.

River View Cemetery
Spanish–American War Veterans Memorial, River View Cemetery (Portland, OR).jpg
Established1882; 138 years ago (1882)
CountryUnited States
Coordinates45°27′54″N 122°40′23″W / 45.465°N 122.673°W / 45.465; -122.673Coordinates: 45°27′54″N 122°40′23″W / 45.465°N 122.673°W / 45.465; -122.673
Owned byRiver View Cemetery Association


River View Cemetery was founded as a non-profit cemetery by William S. Ladd, James Terwilliger, Henry Failing, Henry W. Corbett, Henry Pittock, Simon Benson, and others in 1882.[4] All those who joined co-owned the cemetery.[4] In 1902 a Roll Call statue was added to honor the 165 Oregonians who died in the Spanish–American War.[4] The first adult burial was Dr. William Henry Watkins.[5] In the 1940s a 135-person chapel was added, designed by Pietro Belluschi.[6]


Overlooking the Willamette River, the cemetery has a variety of mausoleums including the Hilltop Garden Mausoleum and Main Mausoleum.[6] There are also private mausoleums and crypts.[6] River View is an endowment care cemetery as defined by the state of Oregon.[7]

Property and surplus landEdit

River View Cemetery occupies approximately 350 acres (140 ha) on the west slope of the Willamette River, south of Downtown Portland, but approximately half of the property is not a developed cemetery.[8] Initially, this excess land was held for future expansion of the cemetery, but demographic trends away from burial (in favor of cremation) have reduced the need for future expansion. For example, in 1973 eight percent of Oregonians chose cremation, versus 68 percent in 2010.[9]

In 2006, the River View Cemetery Association sought to develop 184 acres (74 ha) of their surplus land into residential properties, and filed a $24 million compensation claim under Oregon Ballot Measures 37 (2004) and 49 (2007).[10] In 2007, the River View Cemetery Association submitted an application to change the zoning of the surplus land from open space to single-family residential for 182 housing units.[11] On May 2, 2011, the City of Portland announced that it had agreed to purchase 146 acres (59 ha) of this undeveloped surplus land for $11.25 million, which will be managed by Portland Parks & Recreation with the initial goals of habitat stabilization, removal of invasive species, and trail and access planning.[12]

Notable burialsEdit

Grave of Harvey W. Scott
Grave of Henry Weinhard
Burial marker at the cemetery


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Multnomah County, Oregon: River View Cemetery. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  2. ^ James, Peet. Necropolitan: Portland's most interesting residents don't walk the streets. At least you'd better hope they don't. Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Willamette Week. Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  3. ^ Society for American Baseball Research
  4. ^ a b c History. Archived 2007-06-09 at the Wayback Machine River View Cemetery. Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  5. ^ The Doctor in Oregon. Alibris. Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Home page, River View Cemetery. River View Cemetery. Retrieved on January 24, 2015.
  7. ^ List of Endowment Care Cemeteries. Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Retrieved on March 12, 2008.
  8. ^ Our Founders. Archived 2011-04-18 at the Wayback Machine River View Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved on May 4, 2011.
  9. ^ Law, Steve (July 8, 2010). "Portlanders shall rest in green peace: River View Cemetery opens its grounds to the natural option". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on April 19, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  10. ^ Buried In Claims: Cemeteries Join the M37 Rush. Portland Mercury. Retrieved on May 4, 2011.
  11. ^ City of Portland OWEB Grant Application. Google Cache of Oregon Water Resources Department Web Page. Retrieved on May 4, 2011.
  12. ^ This wildlife corridor will be the envy of every city in America. KATU Southwest Portland News. Retrieved on May 4, 2011.
  13. ^ Oregon Pioneers
  14. ^ Horne, Peter. Policewomen: Their First Century and the New Era. The Police Chief, vol. 73, no. 9, September 2006. Retrieved on March 10, 2008.
  15. ^ "Ben Boloff surcombs". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. October 15, 1932. p. 4.
  16. ^ NNDB
  17. ^ John Eicher, David Eicher (2002). Civil War High Commands. Stanford University Press. p. 253. ISBN 9780804780353.
  18. ^ Hidden History of Civil War Oregon
  19. ^ "Kamm burial is today". The Oregonian. December 16, 1912. p. 7.
  20. ^ Dorothy McCullough Lee. Portland Online. Retrieved on March 10, 2008.
  21. ^ Pickett Society
  22. ^ Portland Online: First Chief Engineer of Portland's Water System
  23. ^ River View Cemetery
  24. ^ Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission
  25. ^ The Oregon History Project: Henry Weinhard. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved on June 27, 2007.
  26. ^ Willard, Frances Elizabeth, 1839-1898; Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905 (1893). A woman of the century; fourteen hundred-seventy biographical sketches accompanied by portraits of leading American women in all walks of life. Buffalo, N.Y., Moulton. p. 437. Retrieved 8 August 2017.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External linksEdit