New sign spruces up local cemetery

If there was any question on the actual name of Nehalem’s cemetery, a solution has been found.

By Jordon Wolfe

For the first time, The Historic Nehalem American Legion Cemetery has an entrance sign.

Am. legion sign 002

“Our goal was to find a local sign maker,” said Val Vines Magee, project coordinator and volunteer for the cemetery beautification project.

Their search led them to Susan Walsh, owner of Manzanita Sign Company.

“She has done many civic signs and community-area signs,” Vines Magee said, adding many of the signs can be seen in north Tillamook County.

The sign, most recent in a planned series of refurbishments, has been in the works for almost a year, according to Vines Magee. Fundraising began in October and the City of Nehalem, Nehalem Bay Garden Club and the Tillamook County Cultural Coalition awarded grants. The beautification committee contracted with Walsh in early summer.

“We’re unsure if there was ever an entrance sign,” she added. “There is confusion in the community of what the name actually was.

“This signifies its historical nature. It’s important for people to know.”

The cemetery was formally established in 1901. However, Vines Magee added it had been used informally before that date.

“Some people we’re working with are descendants of people buried there,” she said. “We’re getting to know all the old stories of these residents. We’re getting an oral history as we go.”

The current goals for the beautification committee, aside from adding more volunteers, is to compile a list of all veterans and place bronze markers on the sites and add one more sign: An interpretive sign board which will be up by the end of summer.
cemetery view

“It’s been so fun,” Vines Magee said, “Our youngest volunteer is 20 and our oldest is 86. When you’re working, there are no ages.”

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Val Vines Magee at