City of Dewitt

City of DeWitt Cemetery

Rules & Regulations

Incorporated within the City Code is the City’s Cemetery Rules & Regulations which addresses such subjects as landscaping and decorations. Before you place any plants or decorative materials in the cemetery, please contact the City Hall at (517) 669-2441. The City reserves the right to remove all prohibited items without notice.

Cemetery Decorations – Many Violating Cemetery Rules: Over the past couple of years, City staff has noted an increase in the number of gravesites that are being decorated in a manner inconsistent with the City’s Cemetery Ordinance which was enacted in 1997. The Ordinance was adopted in order to ensure that the general appearance of the Cemetery remains serene and park-like. When preparing to decorate grave sites for this season, please keep the following regulations in mind:

  • Flowers may be placed at gravesites either in-ground or in non-glass urns.
  • Urns may only be placed on the north or south edge of the grave monument or marker. They may not be placed in front of a monument or marker.
  • Prohibited decorations include arches, trellises, chains, tri-pods, fences, railings, curbs, birdbaths, sundials, steps, and wood structures. The use of glass or ceramic containers is prohibited. Landscape rocks including marble chips washed stone, and lava rocks are prohibited.
  • Trees and shrubs may be planted on gravesites with advance approval from the City.

Complaints made by visitors regarding the cemetery will be reviewed by the City. The City reserves the right to remove any prohibited item without prior notice. Questions about the Cemetery Ordinance should be directed to Lisa Grysen, City Clerk at (517) 669-2441 or at lgrysen@dewittmi.org. If you would like someone from the cemetery maintenance staff to meet you on-site to discuss your decorations or landscaping, contact Rich Miller, DPS Supervisor at (517) 669-5466 or rmiller@dewittmi.org.

Mandatory Decoration Removal

If the following decorations are not removed by these dates, they shall be considered abandoned and may be disposed of by the City. The City shall annually give notice of these dates on the City web page and on the WITT Channel.

Winter Decorations
Are to be removed from the Cemetery by April 1st of each year:

  • Grave Blankets
  • Winter Arrangements

Easter Decorations
Are allowed one week prior and one week after Easter Day

Memorial Day Decorations
Are allowed one week prior and one week after Memorial Day

All Summer/Fall Decorations
Are to be removed from the Cemetery by November 1st of each year.

Cemetery Fees & Information

The City Council establishes the fees for cemetery-related items. Periodically, these fees are reviewed and may be subject to change without notice.

Purchase of Burial Rights

Non-Resident: $ 1,050.00 per space
Resident/Taxpayer: $ 460.00 per space

Grave Opening/Closing

Opening $ 360.00
Cremation Burial $ 160.00
Infant Grave Opening $100.00 (Note: Infant rate applies for a casket 14″x20″ or less in size)
Additional fee if after 2:30 PM: $175.00
Additional fee if on Saturday: $ 200.00

Burials are not available on Sunday or on holidays observed by the City.

Miscellaneous Fees

Space Transfer Fee: $ 36.00
Foundations: $ 0.80 per square inch
Shrub Removal: No Charge
Burial rights for cemetery spaces may be purchased in two ways:

  • Direct Sale – purchaser pays the full amount owing for the desired space(s)
  • Time Payment Plan – Purchaser signs an Agreement with the City to pay the full amount within 180 Days of the Agreement date (minimum payment of 25% of the total purchase price is required at the time of signing the Agreement).

Cemetery Plantings

Before you place any materials in the cemetery, please review the graveside planting information below as to planting location and permissible plants. If you have any further questions regarding the Cemetery, please contact the City Clerk at (517) 669-2441. There are specific rules that govern planting locations.

General Planting Rules:

  • Permission must be secured from the Cemetery Sexton prior to planting non-prohibited trees, shrubs/bushes, or other plant material.
  • Shrubs/bushes planted must align with the north or south edge of the monument or marker. The City encourages the use of Japanese Yews, Dwarf Cyprus, Mugo Pine, and Dwarf White Spruce.
  • Due to the lot configuration and lot size in Sections I and J, the planting of trees, shrubs, and bushes is only permitted by the City.


Note:
 The adoption of this prohibited plant material list will not result in the immediate removal of plant material that may exist at the Cemetery prior to the adoption of this listing.

Prohibited Plant Materials

Trees Alder, Catalpa, Ash (Fraxinus), Tree of Heaven, Cottonwood, Willow (all species), Birch (paper), Elm (Siberia), Black Locust, Maple (silver), Boxelder, Mulberry, Buckthorn, Poplars
Shrubs & Bushes Barberry, Lilac, Viburnum, Forsythia, Spirea, Japanese, Quince, Honeysuckle, Fire Thorn, Pussy Willow, Butterfly Bush, Hydrangea, Euonymous, Mock Orange
Plant Material Roses, Trumpet Vine

Cemetery History

The DeWitt City Cemetery, located on the east side of North Bridge Street, ranks among the oldest in Clinton County. The facts and dates of its origin remain obscure, but it is believed to have originated as the earliest burial grounds for the Scott settlement.

It is reasonable to assume that since Captain Scott was the original owner of the land which now comprises the cemetery, he may have set a small parcel aside for use as a cemetery, and further, that the land may not have been deeded to DeWitt Township until the early 1840’s when he sold off the surrounding lands.

At that time, DeWitt Township instituted the policy of establishing township-owned and controlled cemeteries. As years passed, additional land was acquired and the cemetery became the major graveyard of the DeWitt area.

In 1965, when the Village of DeWitt became a City, DeWitt Township turned the operation and maintenance of the cemetery over to the City and it became known as the DeWitt City Cemetery.

Much of the history of Clinton County, as well as that of the DeWitt area, is recorded in the stones of the DeWitt City Cemetery. Many of Clinton County’s most notable pioneers are buried here, including war veterans from as far back as the War of 1812.

In April of 1988, the City Council approved a request from the local VFW Post to erect a monument in the Cemetery to honor the veterans buried there. Later that year, the City Council approved the request for the placement of a spotlight on the Veteran’s Memorial and for the VFW to maintain the American Flag and the City to pay for the monthly electric bill to light the memorial.

Every Memorial Day, the local VFW Post holds a ceremony at the DeWitt City Cemetery in memory of the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. There are 75 Civil War veterans who rest in the DeWitt City Cemetery. In the spring of 1999, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) honored these soldiers by furnishing each grave with a reproduction of a specially designed grave marker/flag holder. The marker was patterned after the membership badge of the GAR. The initials “GWA” and “Post 58” (named after the George W. Anderson Post No. 58) were cast within the center circle of the badge’s star.

The DeWitt Millennium Garden Club has created a Healing Garden in the northeast section of the cemetery that has been designed as a contemplative area to heal mind, body, and spirit for those wishing to memorialize a loved one, a marriage or a family event with an engraved brick. As one enters the garden through a Victorian arbor and fencing, the bricks are randomly placed throughout the meandering pathway leading to benches for contemplation. On both sides of the brick paths are beautiful perennial flower beds. The garden is enclosed with shrubs and trees giving a sense of peace, serenity, and quiet. If you wish to purchase a brick to memorialize a loved one or event then go to healingbricks to obtain an application.

Continuous efforts are being made to expand and enhance the appearance of the DeWitt City Cemetery. Honoring our past and planning for the future, we are proud of our cemetery.

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