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One of Southeast Portland's oldest cemeteries is opposite Eastport Plaza...and is getting an upgrade

RITA A. LEONARD - Many headstones at Southeasts historic Multnomah Park Pioneer Cemetery display modern laser engraving. Historic Multnomah Park Pioneer Cemetery, across the street from the Eastport Plaza shopping center at the corner of S.E. 82nd Avenue or Roses and Holgate Boulevard, is due for some access changes.

The 9+ acres of tall trees and historic headstones was founded in 1888 by Oliver P. and George P. Lent, Gustaf Petersen, William Kern, and Robert Gilbert. It was taken over by Multnomah County in 1943, and is now maintained by Metro. Over the next few months, Metro will permanently close entrances along S.E. 82nd Avenue, in order to direct visitors to safer entrances along Holgate.

The well-maintained cemetery offers an opportunity to explore Portland's history in a peaceful setting. A substantial number of more-modern headstones are laser-engraved with photographic representations of those interred, both as portraits, and in candid photos. Many headstones have floral containers attached, allowing visitors to leave flowers for loved ones.

The Lents family settled in what is now the Lents neighborhood to the east. This Pioneer Cemetery is the final resting place of Oliver P. Lent, founder of the original Town of Lent; and William Johnson, who in the 1840's built and operated a sawmill along Johnson Creek, which now bears his name. Oliver Lent also operated a sawmill for many years, and he designed the Town of Lent to be a self-sufficient community. It was annexed into Portland in 1912.

Pioneer Cemeteries and historical references shine a spotlight on how the City of Portland developed over time.

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