Resthaven Cemetery

Photo added by Gerhardt Leffler

Resthaven Cemetery

Also known as McLarens Resthaven Cemetery

801-19th Street
West Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, 50265 USA
Phone 515-223-1230
Memorials 15,266 added (98% photographed)


Resthaven Cemetery was established in 1931 by W.H. Colvin on the site of the former Mountain Dairy Farm and was “out in the country.” Resthaven was one of the first memorial parks in the United States to have all of its markers set at ground level in a park-like atmosphere. The 40-acre cemetery was purchased from the Colvin estate in 1953 by R. Harley Riggs and Carl Ripper. The centerpiece of the cemetery at that time was the lake located between two rolling hills.The first pair of swans to live on the lake, Jack and Jill, were purchased in 1955 by Mrs. Fred Chander in memory of her husband. Jack and Jill continued to grace the lake and raised a family there.

The Garden Mausoleum was built in 1975 and overlooks the lake. Resthaven Chapel Mausoleum, which features casket crypts and cremation niches, was built in 1968. The mausoleum was expanded in the mid-1980s with an additional wing that added casket crypts. Glass-front cremation niches were added later.

McLaren's Funeral Chapel moved from Valley Junction to the grounds of Resthaven Cemetery in 1978. Each year until 1998 the Resthaven Cemetery tree farm provided many of the West Des Moines residents with Christmas trees. Other additions to Resthaven include private estates with a two-crypt private mausoleum, added in 2005, and the fountain estates, added in 2006. The Veterans Memorial Wall was constructed in 2006 and honors both living and deceased veterans. Each Memorial Day, the avenue of flags honors those who have given their lives defending our country.


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GPS Coordinates: 41.5806007, -93.7300034

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #95931