Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Harbor
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About Crystal Springs Cemetery
Crystal Springs cemetery was founded in 1893.
The Cemetery is owned by the city of Benton Harbor. In, 2014, the city retained the services of North Shore Memory Gardens trustees to operate the cemetery’s day to day operations.
The cemetery is beautiful and peaceful. A stroll through the grounds can be relaxing as well as historically enlightening.
Among some of the first persons to be interred were those killed in the Spanish-American war which took place 1898- 1901.
A monument located just north of the Crystal Springs Bridge is dedicated to 12 firefighters. Seven were from Benton Harbor and five from St. Joseph. The Yore Opera House in downtown Benton Harbor caught fire on Saturday night September 5th 1896. These brave men fought the fire into the early hours on Sunday morning. They lost their lives in an alley behind the Opera house when tons of brick and burning debris fell on them.
There is a beautiful and historic side entrance to Crystal Springs Cemetery off the Crystal Avenue. This cobblestone entrance was paid for by John Emerson in 1923. It was presented in honor of his late wife Andrea Emerson.
The Crystal Springs refer to a small tributary that runs through the center of the property. The spring is rain fed and filled with wild flowers and vegetation. A beautiful bridge traverses over the creek.
Veteran of Foreign Wars Memorial area features the “James V. Schairer Circle” in honor of a Benton Harbor young man killed in action during the World’s War. This lot was dedicated to the memory of veterans past and future in 1933. Note in 1933, no one knew there would be a Second World War, so it was not called World War 1.
The Tower of Remembrance is a 60 foot high tower dedicated to war veterans. It is built in the form of a triangle to represent the Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It was designed by then cemetery superintendent, Herman C. Vogt who had seen a similar tower on a trip to Ottawa, Canada. The tower cost $10,000 to build in 1938. The construction of the tower was a WPA project. WPA stands for Works Progress Administration and was part of FDR’s New Deal.