A Century and a Half of History in Junction City, Oregon


Wade Skinner and The Team
Wade Skinner's team carries a casket in procession to Rest Lawn in 2007

Rest Lawn Memorial Park is a 14.35 acre cemetery, located 4.5 miles west of Junction City, Oregon, one half mile north of High Pass Road on Territorial Highway, just southwest of Cox Butte. The first burial was in 1868, with 145 individuals interred there prior to 1900. For much of the 1900's the cemetery was owned and operated by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), Oasis Lodge #42 of Junction City.


The cemetery has had a number of names over the years, including the Barrow Cemetery, the Bear Creek Cemetery, Cox Butte Cemetery, IOOF Junction City Cemetery, Long Tom Cemetery, Mahon Cemetery, and Oasis Lodge #42 IOOF Cemetery. In the mid to late 1960's, the cemetery became privately owned and the name was changed to Rest Lawn Memorial Park.

The cemetery is currently privately owned, changing hands in 2014 to the stewardship of Sustainable Cemetery Management advocate Cynthia Beal, living and working in Lane County since 1989, who has a personal passion for gardening and sustainable forestry and agriculture, and is bringing a range of natural burial options for both cremated and full-body remains. A final name change is being contemplated - perhaps a return to the Cox Butte Cemetery name, in keeping with geographical history of the place - is in the cemetery's future. 

As of 2014, the Cemetery management has elected to transition the grounds to more sustainable landscape management practices. The use of chemical poisons has been almost entirely eliminated, and the cemetery has been trialing many alternative less-toxic forms of vegetation management. Mowing is done on a strict regimen, ensuring maximum efficiency of personnel and fuel. The cemetery composts its flower tributes, rather than throwing them away; its branches and clippings are composted on site rather than hauled; its extra soil from graves is spread into new terraces, beds and berms; new hedgerows for wildlife and boundary management are being created; and irrigation is now being managed with stronger conservation principles in mind.

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