In 1850, Joseph Alexander buried his first wife, Sarah, on their donation land claim in Corvallis, then called Marysville. The number of graves grew as Alexander allowed other families to bury their loved ones on his property. In 1860, Alexander and his second wife, also named Sarah, deeded the land for the cemetery to Corvallis Masonic Lodge 14. Before dams were built, the Willamette River meandered through the east of the cemetery and formed a small lake. Most likely it was this body of water that inspired the name Crystal Lake, officially adopted by the lodge on Jan. 20, 1866. While the graves found at Crystal Lake are not the oldest in Benton County, the cemetery is said to be one of the oldest in continuous use. During Memorial Day services in 1908, a statue honoring a Civil War Union soldier was dedicated. For more than 140 years, the Masons maintained the cemetery. Eventually they approached Benton County commissioners ab out transferring ownership of the cemetery to the county. In 2001, Crystal Lake Cemetery became part of the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department.
Crystal Lake Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in June 2004. Many Corvallis settlers, including J.C. Avery, his wife and serveral children were laid to rest there.
GPS Coordinates: 44.5472, -123.2528
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #38691
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