Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Due to a lack of agenda the City Council meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. has been canceled. more
Monday, September 18, 2017
On Monday September 18, 2017, the water main was shut off to repair a main break; a boil order is being issued when water comes back on. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area Once two (2) consecutive water... more
Monday, September 18, 2017
At least 45 contracts have been signed through the Solarize initiative in Goshen and South Bend, with people weighing decisions for about 50 more projects before the Sept 30th signing deadline for 2017 installations. MORE ROOM IN SOLARIZE FOR 2018: What if you missed the chance to attend the... more
In 2004, the City Council passed an ordinance which established a Department of Cemeteries combining the management of cemeteries under a Director of Cemeteries and a Board of Cemetery Trustees. The Board, consisting of five members, appointed by the Mayor, meets four times a year.
Official cemetery records are maintained, deeds are issued and payments are processed through the Clerk-Treasurer's office, located at 202 S. 5th Street. Contact them at 574-533-8625.
The “Cemetery Information & Regulations” document contains decorating guidelines and other information pertinent to cemetery patrons.
Cemetery fees are set by the City Council. Current fees were adopted at the July 18, 2017 City Council meeting in Ordinance 4915.
Director of Cemeteries, Violett Sexton
Assistant Director of Cemeteries, Oakridge & West Goshen Sexton
The earliest known burial at Oakridge Cemetery was in 1832. The trustees of First Methodist Church founded the cemetery in 1839 and passed it to the City of Goshen in 1859. The 40 plus acre property, just north of the U.S. post office across the railroad tracks, contains numerous historic burials including eight mayors of Goshen and veterans from every major American war. Unique sections at Oakridge include the Grand Army of the Republic and potter’s field sections and sections founded by Sharis Israel (Jewish congregation), International Organization of Odd Fellows and Eastern Orthodox churches. Burial sites are available at Oakridge.
Settler John Cripe who died in 1831 is believed to be the first burial at West Goshen Cemetery. The site was purchased and used by the German Baptist Church as a cemetery beginning in 1859. After being a church cemetery for over 100 years it was ceded to the City of Goshen by West Goshen Church of the Brethren in 1975. The property, south of Berkey Avenue, near the junction of Berkey and Dewey Avenue, includes over ten acres and has burial sites available for purchase.
Violett Cemetery, located on Violett Road, just south of Kercher Road and the Goshen Dam Pond, is named for the pioneer family that first owned the 40 plus acre property. The first known burial at Violett was in 1837, but local lore suggests that a Native American burial ground existed on the property prior to that. Another local legend suggests that the Underground Railroad passed through along the east bank of the Elkhart River. Violett was officially established as a cemetery sometime in the mid- to late 1800’s and passed to the City of Goshen in 1897. Burial sites are available at Violett.
Dierdorff Cemetery is a small pioneer-era cemetery of less than two acres located just south of Goshen College on Main Street. The first burial here was Elizabeth, daughter of German Baptist pioneers on their way to Iowa in the early 1830’s. The property was purchased and established as a family cemetery by Peter Dierdorff in 1854. It has been maintained by the city since 1976 but was incorporated into the Cemetery Department only in recent years. No burial sites are available there.
Our spring clean-up occurs Monday to Friday the first full week of April (3-7 this year). Items likely to be removed by staff during spring clean-up include old silk flowers (especially if they are in the way of trimmers), broken items, old flags, old frames & wires, glass items and out-of-date seasonal items. If you have items that you are concerned about, please remove them before the clean-up begins.
More people are choosing cremation and relatives frequently delay the final disposition of those cremated remains until warmer weather. We are frequently asked about what is necessary to make these arrangements. Here are the basics, from the sexton’s perspective:
Under Indiana statute, a funeral director should be present whenever cremated remains are buried or placed in a columbarium or cremation bench. If you are in possession of the cremated remains, it is your responsibility to contact a funeral director and arrange for their presence.
It is the policy of Goshen City Cemeteries to require the use of a vault or urn-vault of concrete, hard plastic or other rigid, durable material (wood, porcelain, glass or other brittle materials are not suitable) to bury cremated remains. Most funeral homes and vault companies sell these containers.
The sexton should be notified at least two business days in advance of the date/time of the planned internment and the dimensions of the vault being used.
Goshen City Cemeteries requires an Indiana Transit Permit (or copy of it) which can be obtained from the funeral home. This is a different document from a cremation certificate (issued by the crematory). This permit (or copy) must be presented to the sexton prior to internment.
Cremated remains can be buried on a regular burial space provided there is no previous full burial on that space – they cannot be buried on top of a previous burial. Up to four burials of cremated remains may be buried on a regular burial space. Violett Cemetery also has cremation-only spaces to accommodate a single set of cremated remains. Spaces for burial may be purchased through the sexton.
The cost of opening and closing the grave or niche must be paid in advance of the internment, either through the funeral home or directly to the sexton. Checks should be made out to the City of Goshen.
NEW! Violett Cemetery's new cremation garden to offer more options to families
Beginning in the fall, Goshen residents will have more options for placement of the cremated remains of their loved ones.
Local landscaper Stone Ridge Landscaping, Inc. just completed structural work on a scattering area this week, as part of a larger cremation garden at Violett Cemetery, 2818 Violett Rd.
Once completed, the cremation garden will give residents who choose to cremate the remains of their loved ones three options:
1. Ground burial in an 18X18-inch space
2. Placing the ashes in a columbarium niche
3. Scattering the ashes in a scattering area
Director of Cemeteries Burt Matteson explained as more families opt for cremations, they are looking for different means for the disposition of the ashes of their beloved. “More people are using cremations for a variety of reasons, which may include economic or personal,” he said. “Until now we only had ground burials for cremations, but with the cremation garden we will be able to give people more choices.”
The cremation garden will offer families more economical options for the disposition of ashes while maintaining a sense of enclosure. The Goshen City Council approved the fees for the disposition of ashes during a meeting July 18. A full list of the fees can be seen on the City website at goshenindiana.org/cemeteries.
More updates and announcements will be made when the cremation garden is completed.