The Cemetery was established on land purchased by William Little in 1875 in his position as Supervisor of Bear Creek Township. He was also Petoskey's first doctor and shortly following the purchase of the Cemetery property became the first burial in the Cemetery, dying at the age of 33. The Cemetery was incorporated by an act of the Michigan State Legislature in 1897, becoming the cemetery for Bear Creek Township, the City of Petoskey and Resort Township.
I am not sure if Dr. Little took into consideration the rolling hills and the view of the bay at the time he purchased the property but many generations have appreciated the fact that the cemetery has such a beautiful setting. It adds to the peacefulness as you walk the rolling terrain amongst the mature hardwoods and enjoy the view of Little Traverse Bay.
The Board that has oversight of the operations of the cemetery consists of three representatives from the City of Petoskey, one representative from Bear Creek Township and one representative from Resort Township. Each person is appointed by their unit of government for a term of five years and serves with no pay.
There have been some individuals that have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty. Chalmers Curtis served on the Board in various capacities for a period of fifty-one years. He owned a bank in town and often came to the cemetery in the afternoon in his business suit to trim the maple trees. Charles Henika served on the board for fifty years and Albert Crawford was an employee, superintendent and board member for a total of fifty years. Many other board members and employees have served or worked for twenty years or more. There is a certain stability in the fact that board members and employees have taken their positions seriously in meeting the needs of the public.
The Cemetery Board and staff take great pride in the care of the records, grounds and the historical heritage that sets Greenwood apart from many other cemeteries.