Pine Crest Municipal Cemetery
A Short History
The city of Lake Worth, on the southern edge of West Palm Beach, began in April of 1912 as a small settlement of farmers who each paid $250.00 for five acres of farm land and received a 25 foot wide town site as an added inducement to stay. Many stayed and by December 1912, the population was 308. Lake Worth was incorporated in June 1913, boasting of a post office, several stores, a church, bank, school, even a newspaper. However, there was no cemetery. Burials had to be in West Palm Beach.
In 1915, the Lake Worth governing body appointed a committee to scout around and find a suitable location for a cemetery. The committee members reported that there was a 9.2 acres parcel adjoining the southwest corner of the town, immediately west of A Street between 9th Avenue South and 12th Avenue South. The city commission was urged to buy the land before the price went up, which they did, paying $10 per acre for a total of $920.00.
What happened during the next eight years is unknown because the first recorded burial in the new cemetery wasn’t until July of 1923. The cemetery hadn’t even been named, though the lots had been laid out. As reported by the Lake Worth Herald of August 15, 1923, the city announced a contest for naming the cemetery: “While no prize or reward is offered, the commission says they think that some property owner might like to have the honor of naming the burial plot. After much debate, the commissioners chose the name of Pinecrest, a compromise between two of the best suggestions. Through the years, the name separated into two words, Pine Crest.
The original cemetery encompassed Sections A through P. In 1935, the American Legion requested that the city designate a portion of Pine Crest Cemetery as a memorial plot for service men. Section I was so designated. City Clerk’s record of March 1939: “Section I set aside for veterans at no charge, providing standard government markers. American Legion Post #47 to furnish labor and material for sidewalks…”
In 1949, the city acquired more land on the western edge of the cemetery, extending that border to Pine Street. The new area was laid out in Sections 1 through 30. In 1953, prices for units were raised from $25 to $40 and $50. A 14’x18’ cemetery office was built on the 12th Avenue South end in 1955 and in 1963, an adjoining maintenance shop was built, measuring 42’x57’. The cemetery was enlarged again in 1971, now bordering Elm Avenue on the north, with a total of 17.25 acres and 8625 remains. A time capsule, buried on the grounds in 1976 by the Lake Worth Centennial Committee and the Lake Worth Civic Council, is to be opened July 4, 2076.
Pine Crest Municipal Cemetery has three entrances on A Street, one on 12th Avenue South and two on Pine Street. An additional veterans’ section is located in Section V. Section BB is for infants. As of 1998 the cemetery was almost full. Burials indexed cover the period June of 1923 through June of 1997.
Lake Worth has a second municipal cemetery, I. A. Banks Memorial Park (formerly Osborne Municipal Cemetery). It is listed separately on this website. They are both divided by section first, then lot.
This project was project was made possible through funding from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin counties.
Members of the Genealogy Society of Palm Beach County Cemetery Committee were: Marjorie Nelson, Lorraine Lentsch, Marilyn Hardter
Additional assistance provided by: Randy Hall and James W. Lee.
Special thanks to the following:
City Clerk’s Office, Lake Worth
Lake Worth Historian
Lake Worth, cemetery staff