Maple Grove Cemetery

1184 E. Free Soil Road Free Soil, MI 49411


Any questions on burials or lot sales can be directed to the township Clerk, Lynda Papes.

To schedule grave openings, contact the township Sexton, Rusty Marquardt.

A cemetery lot shall consist of burial spaces sufficient to accommodate from
one to six burial spaces. An adult burial space shall consist of a land area
four (4) feet wide and ten (10) feet in length. A cremation, infant or stillborn
burial space shall consist of a land area three (3) feet wide and three and onehalf (3 1/2) feet in length

Any person desiring to purchase a lot must apply to the township clerk or deputy registrar who shall issue to the purchaser a proper deed upon payment of the price set by the Board.  The deed issued by the township clerk is to convey only the right to burial forever to the purchaser and his lineal descendents, but such deed shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the Township Board which may be in effect or which may hereafter be adopted.

Hereafter, cemetery lots or burial spaces shall be sold only to residents or taxpayers of Free Soil Township and to residents of those townships in  Manistee and Mason Counties which do not operate their own public cemetery, for the purpose of the burial of such purchaser or his or her heirs at law or next of kin.  No sale shall be made to funeral directors or others than as heretofore set forth.  The township supervisor,  however, is hereby granted the authority to vary the aforesaid restrictions on sales where the purchaser discloses sufficient personal reason for burial within the township or relationship to persons interred therein.

Burial rights may only be transferred to family members eligible to be original purchasers of cemetery lots or burial spaces within the township and may be effected only by endorsement of an assignment of such burial permit upon the original deed form issued by the township clerk, approved by said clerk, and entered upon the official records of said clerk.  Upon such assignment, approval and record, said clerk shall issue a new deed to the assignee and shall cancel and terminate upon such records, the original deed thus assigned.


Each burial space shall cost the sum of $________ for Free Soil Township residents and $________  for non– residents.

The cost of  a burial space shall also include the cost of perpetual care in the sum of $_______.    The cost of  burial spaces and perpetual care shall be established by a resolution of the Free Soil Township Board.  All costs and fees shall be paid to Free Soil Township.


The opening and closing of any burial space, prior to and following a burial therein, and including the interment of ashes, shall be at a cost to be determined from time to time by a resolution of the Free Soil Township Board, payable to the township.  No burial spaces shall be opened or closed except under the direction and control of the cemetery sexton.  This provision shall not apply to proceedings for the removal and re-interment of bodies and remains, which matters are under the supervision of the local health department. Sunday burials are allowed at a cost of time and one-half to the sexton. No burials will be conducted from November 1st through April 15, except at the discretion of the township sexton. If  burial is approved, tent setup is not allowed. Storage Vault rent is $________  if the deceased does not have a lot or for non-residents.  Survivors of the deceased not wishing to have their loved ones stored in the Storage Vault will be required to pay the extra expense for snowplowing to access the burial site, as well as double the grave opening fee. Snow plowing will be contracted by the township sexton or supervisor from a township board approved, licensed party.


All markers or memorials must be of stone or other equally durable composition.  Foundations for monuments, markers or urns must be even with the ground and must not exceed the width of the burial space(s). 

Monuments, markers and urns must be located upon a suitable foundation to maintain the same in an erect position and the monument or marker must leave a four (4) inch clearance around the foundation for maintenance purposes. Only one monument, marker or memorial shall be permitted per burial space.

Veteran flag holders must be placed in line with the stone.  All urns or pots are to be set either to the left or right of the stone or monument, and on a foundation with the four (4) inch margin, to expedite mowing.

The footing or foundation upon which any monument, marker or memorial must be placed shall be constructed by a reputable agent at the scheduling and cost to the owner of  the burial space.

The Township Board reserves the right to authorize the sexton or its employees to enter upon any lot and remove anything that in their judgment may be detrimental to the appearance of the cemetery.  No trees, shrubs, monuments or markers now on lots shall be removed by any person without permission of the sexton.


Only one person may be buried in a grave space except for a parent and infant, two children, a child and a cremation, or two cremation remains.

Not less than 48 hours advance notice shall be given to the sexton regarding a grave opening.

The appropriate permit shall be presented to the sexton and payment for the grave opening shall be made prior to interment.

All burials shall be within a standard concrete vault except for cremations, which must be in a durable container.

Crematory burials will be done by the sexton only.

All graves shall be located in an orderly and neat appearing manner within the confines of the burial space involved.


  1. After the effective date of this Ordinance, all those purchasing a cemetery lot or burial space and all those applying for a grave opening must pay a perpetual care fee.  The perpetual care fee must only be paid once, and  those who pay the fee at the time of purchase of the cemetery lot or burial space will not be required to pay this fee at the time of the gravesite opening.  The amount of the perpetual care  fee will be determined from time to time by the Free Soil Township Board and will be received and used exclusively for the perpetual care of the cemetery lots and gravesites for which payment has been received.
  2. Through the operation of a perpetual care plan, the problem of caring for cemetery lots after families have moved away or become extinct can be solved to a large degree. This plan can, to an increasing extent, relieve the taxpayers of the  township from paying the total cost of keeping the resting place of departed loved ones from becoming a mass of tangles vines, bushes and uncut vegetation.
  3. All payments for perpetual care must be paid to the clerk or treasurer of the township in order to receive proper payment.
  4. The sums of money received for perpetual care by the township shall be invested in a banking institution designated by the township board and shall be kept separate from all other funds belonging to the said township.
  5. No part of said fund, except the interest or capital expenditures for cemetery upgrading, repairs or improvement approved by the Free Soil Township Board thereon, shall be drawn from said banking institution, and this income shall be used and spent for the perpetual care of the cemetery, the owners of which have paid for perpetual care.


  1. No grading, leveling or excavating upon a burial space shall be allowed without the permission of the cemetery sexton or the township supervisor.
  2. No flowers, shrubs, trees or vegetation of any type shall be planted without the approval of the cemetery sexton or the township supervisor. Any of the foregoing items planted without such approval may be removed by the township or the cemetery sexton. Flower (live or artificial) are allowed only in urns.  Artificial wreaths on stands are permitted from October 1st to April 1st. 
  3. No fences, railing, coping, hedge, embankment or depression will be permitted around lots.
  4. The township shall not be responsible for any grave marker or monument that may be damaged by the removal of snow of an insured contractor.
  5. All artificial flowers must be removed before October 31st of each year unless special permission was given by the township board.
  6. The township board reserves the right to remove or trim any tree, plant or shrub located within the cemetery in the interest of maintaining proper appearance and the use of the cemetery.
  7. Mounds which hinder the free use of a lawn mower or other gardening apparatus are prohibited.
  8. The cemetery sexton shall have the right and authority to remove and dispose of any and all growth, emblems, displays or containers thereof that through decay, deterioration, damage or otherwise become unsightly, a source of litter, or a maintenance problem.
  9. Surfaces other than earth or sod are prohibited.
  10. All refuse of any kind or nature including, among others, dried flowers, wreaths, papers and flower containers must be removed or deposited in containers located within the cemetery.


Cemetery lots or burial spaces sold after the effective date of the Ordinance and remaining vacant 40 years from the date of their sale shall automatically revert to the township upon occurrence of the following events:

  1. Notice shall be sent by the township clerk by registered mail to the last known address of the last owner of record informing him of the expiration of the 40 year period and that all rights with respect to said lots or spaces will be forfeited if he does not affirmatively indicate in writing to the township clerk within 60 days from the date of mailing of the within notice his desire to retain said burial rights.
  2. No written response to said notice indicating a desire to retain the cemetery lots or burial spaces in question is received by the township clerk from the last owner of record of said lots or spaces or his heirs or legal representative within 60 days from the date of mailing of said notice.


The township will repurchase any cemetery lot or burial space from the owner for the original price paid to the township upon written request of said owner or his legal heirs or representatives.


The township  shall maintain records concerning all burials, issuance of burial permits and any perpetual care fund, separate and apart from any other records of the township, and the same shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable business hours.

The cemetery shall be open from daylight to dusk each day.  No person shall be permitted in the township cemetery during the nighttime hours except upon permission of the township board or the sexton of the cemetery. ORV’s (off road vehicles)  are not allowed in the cemetery.


Any person, firm or corporation who violates any of the provisions of the within Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days in jail as may be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. Each day that a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense.  Any criminal prosecutions hereunder shall not prevent civil proceedings for abatement and termination of the activity complained of.