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History of Greenwood Cemetery



The cemetery was established on land purchased by William Little in the fall of 1875 in his position as Supervisor of Bear Creek Township. He was also Petoskey's first doctor. Sadly, it wasn't long after this purchase that Dr. Little died at the age of 33 on Nov. 19, 1875, and was subsequently the second person buried in the new cemetery. The first, was 29-year-old Hattie L. Tracy, who died Oct. 16, 1875.

Greenwood 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. The Board that has oversight of cemetery operations 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.

Some individuals have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty when it came to caring for the cemetery. Chalmers Curtis served on the Board in various capacities for a period of 51 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 50 years and Albert Crawford was an employee, superintendent and board member for a total of 50 years. Many other board members and employees have served or worked for 20 years or more. 

There is a certain stability in the fact that board members and employees have taken their positions seriously in providing a place to memorialize and honor our historical heritage. 


Our promise

In our daily tasks and travels through the cemetery, we pass by the graves of our town's residents who died more than a century ago -- Curtis, Rose, Waukazoo, Porter, Jarman, Rosenthal ... Their graves are as well attended to today as those of people buried here only a few months ago.  We promise to perpetually honor and care for those who have gone before us.

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