Crystal Springs Cemetery

Located on Napier Avenue in Benton Township.

angel Overview Office and sign angel

Crystal Springs Cemetery – brief history. - This cemetery was founded in 1893 and was chosen for for its natural beauty. It was founded by the City of Benton Harbor and purchased from Mr. Rackliffe, who was the father of Mrs. H. S.Whitney.
The original entrance was on Crystal Avenue and for many years there after, funeral processions passed through this entrance to transport their dead to their final resting place. On April 3, 1894, Charles C. Squire was laid to rest near the old entrance with his grave being marked with a simpler red granite stone. This would be considered the first and oldest burial originally buried in Crystal Springs cemetery. In later years, stones with much earlier dates would be found through out the cemetery. But as in many other city cemeteries through out the nation, the same principle applies here. That is to say they were interred having been transferred from other cemeteries that were no longer in use or fell to the side because of progress.

Within the first year of burials, there were twenty-one interments but by the early 1940's there was well over 7,500. Originally there were 30 acres but now has grown to over 110 acres.
In later years the Napier gate office was built and funeral processions enter now through the Napier Avenue entrance. As the cemetery grew, the Catholic Calvary Cemetery and the Jewish cemetery grew up on lands adjoining Crystal Springs. This made it convenient in grouping the city's cemeteries to come under care of the burials. And the old singing bell tower (Tower of Remembrance) is a wonderful landmark that adds to the beauty of this cemetery.

Herman C. Vogt, past Superintendent of the cemetery was one of the leaders responsible for the beauty of Crystal Springs Cemetery. He served there from 1921 to 1953. Born April 6, 1881 and died November 22, 1955. This is an active cemetery with a fully staffed office.
History contributed by: Deanna Branson West – past resident of Berrien County, Michigan.

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Crystal Springs Cemetery - Submitted by Susan Smith

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copyright This website is created and copyrighted 2006 by Deanna West