1. How large is the cemetery? It is about 105 acres with approximately 80 of those acres mowed and cared for. Most of the grounds are mowed every week and trimmed every two to three weeks.
2. Why is my black or red monument looking gray? In those areas where we have irrigation we have a problem with lime in the water. The lime slowly (but not permanently) discolors the darker granites. We try to clean those monuments as we have time but if we have missed yours please notify us. We are currently working with a well-drilling company to rectify this problem.
3. What are the black tubs around some of the trees? These are for watering trees that have just been planted. Each tub holds 25 gallons of water that once filled allows the water to slowly seep into the soil preventing run-off. This saves much labor and water and is more beneficial for the tree.
4. Do you make burials in the winter? We make burials year-around but with slightly different rules when there is snow on the ground. We charge extra for processions to the grave in the winter because of the labor required to make the roads passable and safe. We also offer the option of having a service in our parking area and then we take the body back for interment after the family has left. There is no added cost for this.
5. Do you make burials on Sundays or Holidays? We do not make burials on Sundays. We do make burials on Saturdays and holidays with an extra charge involved for overtime expense.
6. Are the roads open in the cemetery all year? The gates into the grounds are closed during the winter because we are unable to plow all the roads and it is difficult for people unfamiliar with the cemetery to know whether they are on the road or not. There are walk-thru gates by the two main gates which are usually unlocked so you can walk into the cemetery to visit a grave.
7. What time does the gate open and what time does it close? The main gate opens every weekday morning at 7:00 AM. It closes at the time posted on the sign just inside the entrance which is usually around dusk. The gate on Sheridan Street is open only as needed for cemetery purposes.
8. What do I do if I get locked inside the Cemetery when the gates close? Call 911 from your cell phone. The personnel there will contact one of the Cemetery crew or the police to come and open the gate.
9. Why do you pick up or turn over the flower pots in the fall? Small flower pots (10-12" in in diameter or under) are disposed of. Pots larger in diameter, if made of good quality materials are left on the lot and tipped over so they will not freeze and break during the winter months. Any pots that are in disrepair are removed from the lot and disposed of.
10. Can I bring my dog with me to the Cemetery? Yes. Many people walk their dogs here, it is good exercise for both man and pet. There are some people who believe the cemetery is no place for dogs and for that reason we insist that you keep your dog on a leash and pick up any messes made. Persons violating this rule will be asked not to come back. There are bags for the waste and a place to dispose of them on the grounds near the parking area.
11. Why do you remove the trinkets, statuary and other items from the lot in the fall? We blow leaves from the grounds with large tractor-mounted leaf blowers. These machines do not discriminate between leaves and small personal items. If lot owners want to save the trinkets they should remove them prior to October 1 each year. They can be placed back on the lot on April 1 of the following year. If we remove the trinkets we will dispose of them immediately.
12. What causes all of the bare spots in the grass? If the ground is not torn up but looks barren it is probably grub damage. If the sod is pulled out of the ground in clumps it is raccoon damage. If it is small holes dug around sporadically it is probably skunk damage. All of the digging critters are looking for grubs. We try to treat affected areas but the critters move their base of operations faster than we do sometimes.
13. If I purchase a lot may I sell it later if I decide I want to be buried somewhere else? The lot can only be sold back to the Cemetery. We will purchase a lot back (and sometimes we will purchase a portion of a lot) at the price originally paid at the time of purchase. The purchaser does not make any money on the sale of the lot but they do not lose any either. We do not purchase a grave space back if it is unusable for resale.
14. What is the saddest part of your job? The death of a child is difficult for anyone in this business. I have watched funeral directors weep at the grave of someone's child that they never knew.
We also have a Potter's Field section where burials were made of persons too poor to purchase a lot and pay for the burial. None of those graves are marked, each of them was someone's child or mom or dad and each of them deserves to be recognized as having lived. Many times when I work around these sections I am saddened that these lives have been essentially forgotten by family, friends and society. We care for the Potter's Field sections in the same way we care for the rest of the grounds and in the area where indigent burials are made currently the Cemetery provides a small marker to designate the grave.
15. What is the most sobering part of the job? Putting out more than 1,500 flags before Memorial Day and thinking of the men and women that offered their lives to pay for my freedom.
16. What is the most satisfying part of your job? In a video of Arlington Cemetery the director said that even though they have 30 interments per day it is their goal to make each family feel as though the interment of their loved one is the only burial that day. We don't always achieve that but it should be our goal as well. If every square inch of the acreage is not perfectly manicured that is not as important as caring for the family as they work through the loss of a loved one. The most satisfying part of the job is to know that we have done our best in working with the funeral home and the vault company to make a difficult time for the family as easy as possible. If someone in the family notices our effort and says something that is a bonus.