This is a Cemetery
Lives are commemorated – deaths are recorded – families are reunited – memories are made tangible – and love is undisguised.
This is a Cemetery
Communities accord respect – families bestow reverence – historians seek information and our heritage is therefore enriched
Testimonies of devotion, pride and remembrance are carved in stone to pay warm tribute to accomplishments and to life – not death – of a loved one. The cemetery is a homeland for family memorials that are a sustaining source of comfort to the living.
A cemetery is a history of people – a perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quiet today.
A Cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering – always.
The above poem has been used many times - you will find it on the website or at the front entrance of many cemeteries - but it is a good reminder to us that a cemetery is not merely a holding place for bodies we have no idea what to do with otherwise. A cemetery is for the living. A cemetery offers a place for the living to grieve, to remember, to contemplate, to heal and to plan for the future. A cemetery is a place where we connect with the past, learning from those that have gone before us. A cemetery is a place where we pause from our busy lives to question whether all of that busyness really matters as much as living a life that will later be memorialized not only in stone but in the lives of those that follow.
The first burial was in November of 1875. The cemetery was on the outskirts of town at that time. 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.
William Karl Crawford took the job of Superintendent of the cemetery in 1920. Albert Bartlett Crawford (his son, my dad) began working here in the early 1930's. I (Karl Crawford) began in 1961 and my son (Albert Bartlett Crawford) started in 1982. Bart's son Jake (Jacob Bartlett Crawford) began watering trees in the summer of 2008. Many other family members have worked, and some of them continue to work, here in that time - it just seemed natural.
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 used to come 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.