18 December 2012

Tombstone Tuesday--The Buildings

 One feature of many of our cemeteries in this area of west Michigan is the caretakers building or shed.  Not only are they used for storage of mowers and other maintenance equipment, but in winter they may become the temporary resting place of the deceased, until the ground thaws.
 Maple Grove Cemetery, here in Fremont, has two buildings.  The one above is the original, and below, behind the wall on the left of the drive is a more recent building.  I am not sure if the original is still used or if both may be used.  I do know that at least previously there were no burials from December 1st of each year until the ground thaws in the following spring.
 However if there is a mild winter, as is the case so far here, burials may be allowed, until the ground does freeze.
Below is the building from Prospect Hill Cemetery, in White Cloud.  It is very familiar to the original Maple Grove building, being of stout bricks, and close to the same size.
 But other styles of buildings are also around.  The building below is from the West Hesperia cemetery.  It is a simple building , but I like the extra little cupola on the top.
 This small one is the building at the old Clark cemetery.  This is a much older, private cemetery, rather than being run by the city or township.  The building is very small.  I don't know if the bodies rest here, or at the funeral homes.
Now I cannot say for certain that these buildings are used still for a temporary resting place, but at least one of the area funeral homes doesn't have much storage room, so I would not be surprised to find them still used in this manner.
I do know that the families are notified in the spring, before the burials.  Both in the case of my mother-in-law, who died in January, and my father, who died in December were delayed burials and in each case, the funeral home notified us before the internment.

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