The Cemetery in Flat Rock was established about the same time as the Holy Family Church and was operated by the church. One acre of land was donated to the church by Anthony Beauchamp. It is located one mile west of the church, on the same road and the same side of the road as the church. Mr. Beauchamp was cemetery sexton from the outset until his death, then his son Richard took over.
The cemetery measured 208 ft x 208 ft when it was donated and had its gate at the center of the north side. There were 127 lots measuring 16 ft x 16 ft each. The roads are narrow as they were laid out in horse and buggy days. According to church records an error was made in laying out the cemetery and can never be made perfect for several reasons. The first pastor made no entries of deaths during his pastorate of 2.5 years and the sexton depended for a long time on his memory, not recording the lot, grave or side of the lot. Several pastors made an effort later to whom each lot belonged and who occupied the individual raves. The pastor at that time not only took care of the death and burial, but also sold the lots, half-lots, quarter lots and single graves. He also collected the price of the grave and the digging.
Shortly after the loss of the Holy Family church the cemetery was turned over to the Township (records show the Township paying for grave digging as early as 1929). The cemetery was enlarged in 1945, as Township records show a piece of land was purchased from Richard and Lillian Beauchamp for $750. Township Board minutes from September 4, 1946 also show that the Township accepted a deed and $500 from father Mattais La Violette to take over the cemetery.
In 1951 a concrete block building was erected by Daniel Chenier to store bodies during the winter months until the ground thawed in the spring. This 11 ft x 15 ft building has been used to store lawn care equipment for the last several years. The Township does all ground maintenance with part time summer help. The Township Clerk is in charge of selling all plots and keeping all records, as well as hiring people to hand dig all graves.
In the mid 1990’s several unwanted trees were removed and part of the cemetery was surveyed. Extra soil is hauled away after each burial to keep the cemetery grounds neat.
In 2004 the 11’ x 15’ bldg was removed and replaced by a new 16’ x 24’ wood frame garage with an 8’ x 24’ eave overhung on the west side to accommodate a large map of the lots in the cemetery. In 2005 a concrete approach and 3 flag poles were added to the front of the building as an Eagle Scout project by Eric Shepeck.
Escanaba Township Cemetery
Sale of Lots or Burial Plots:
1. Can be sold to anyone outside the township
Purchase Price and Transfer Fees:
1. Each Burial plot shall cost the sum of $400
a. Perpetual care included in Plot cost
b. Urns (ashes) $125.00 except when placed by the family
2. All payments shall be paid to the township clerk
3. The township board, by resolution, may periodically change the foregoing fees to accommodate increasing costs for cemetery maintenance and land acquisition
GRAVE OPENING AND CLOSINGS
1. No burial spaces shall be opened and closed except under the control of the cemetery sexton.
2. Cost of opening and closing a gravesite will be $375 and paid at the closing.
– this cost may change at our budget hearing which is the third Monday of March each year.
MARKERS OR MEMORIALS
1. Flat stones would be appreciated but larger stones no bigger than 400 lbs.
2. Any large upright monuments must be upon a 4 inch base.
3. The footing of foundation, upon which any monument, maker or memorial will be placed at the cost of the owner.
1. Urns of ashes may be places on top of another grave.
2. Burial of urns can be buried by the family but have to notify the sexton upon burial for the correct location.
1. All burial shall be within a standard concrete vault installed in each burial space before interment.
1. No shrubs or trees are to be planted on the cemetery grounds unless by the township board.
2. All flowers should be in a container on the monument so the grass can be cared for.
3. Surface other than earth or sod are prohibited.
4. The Township Board shall have the right and authority to remove and dispose of any and all growth, displays or containers therefore that through decay, deterioration, damage or otherwise become unsightly, a source of litter, or a maintenance problem.
5. Any containers, wreaths holders, crosses, etc, shall be removed by October 1st, or else it will be removed and put in the trash.
6. Christmas blankets and wreaths can be put out by November 1st.
Any questions or concerns regarding the rules and regulations stipulation herein, please call:
Patricia J. Beauchamp
Escanaba Township Clerk