Cemetery History

The history of the cemetery starts with Thomas McQuillen who cleared and settled the land on which the cemetery was established. Mr. McQuillen, a Civil War Veteran, was land granted this property from the Federal Government for his service during the war. He is buried on Lot # 285 front and center of the old cemetery next to Cemetery Rd. along with other family members.

It is presumed that it was a family cemetery at the beginning and grew as the township gained in population over the years.The first registered burial was in 1879. Until about 1900, the burial ground was referred to has the McQuillen Cemetery. After then, obituaries in the Tri-County Chronicle started calling it the Novesta Cemetery at times.

It was about this time that Mr. McQuillen moved to Kingston, Michigan and he may have turned over operations to the Township. Even into the early 1900's, some obituaries referenced the McQuillen Cemetery has the place of burial. Mr. Thomas McQuillen, Civil War Veteran and early Township settler, died in November of 1903 and is buried in the Novesta Township Cemetery. His grave is marked with a G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) cast iron flag holder and is pictured below and is the first grave that is pictured.

The original cemetery included 335 lots and was located from the north lane to the south lane. 50 more lots were added at the south border line. 190 lots were added on the north border and west border of the cemetery.

Civil War Veterans Interred in the Cemetery

Thomas McQuillen, Peter Churchill, William H. Crawford, David O. Ramsey, Henry M. Hudson, James H. Mattoon, Francis Barber, Wm. N. Wills, Robert Warner, and Josiah B Lewis.

Rules & Regulations

1. All burials shall be paid for prior to burial

2. All monuments and markers shall be placed on a foundation.

3. All foundations will be installed by the township contractor or a party approved by the Township Board.

4. All foundations must be 3" in depth with an apron extending out from marker a minimum of 3" and a maximum of 6".

5. There is a LIMIT OF 3 ITEMS/DECORATIONS PER GRAVE as not to interfere with the lawn care. Headstones and veterans markers are not included in this limit.

6. No Cement tops or stones on graves with the exception of replacing existing graves with those items and prior permission from the Sexton. Graves will be covered with grass or sod only. (NO TREES OR SHRUBS.) Stone and other material not able to be mowed over are prohibited. No stones, woodchips, fencing, or framing allowed.

7. No elevated mounds shall be built over graves and no grave shall be filled about the grade established by the cemetery.

8. No new curbs are to be installed. Owners of existing curbed graves who wish to have them removed shall contact the Township Sexton.

9. Existing curbs, trees, shrubs, stone, skim top, that are is disrepair or unsightly may be removed at the Township discretion.

10. Cremation burials shall be handled through a funeral home. Maximum of 4 cremations per grave, with an existing full burial, or 6 cremations with no full burial.

11. Markers for each of 4 or 6 cremains must be flat to the ground to not interfere with lawn care. Please see Complete Ordinance on our website: https://www.novestatownship.org/

12. OWNERS ARE RESPONSIBLE TO remove ALL decorations BEFORE APRIL 1st the grave must remain CLEAR through MAY 1st. The graves shall remain clear of ALL decorations for the month to allow for clean-up.

13. OWNERS ARE RESPONSIBLE TO remove ALL decorations BEFORE OCTOBER 1st the grave must remain CLEAR through NOVEMBER 1st. The graves shall remain clear of ALL decorations for the month to allow for clean-up.

14. Novesta Township shall not be financially responsible for damage to lots, monuments, flowers or articles removed from any lot.

15. Novesta Township shall in no way be held responsible for a failure to properly determine the legal successorship of any burial right, owner or purchaser.

Burial Records

Visit Rawson Memorial Website to search burial records

Cemetery Rates

Purchase Price per grave site:

Township Resident - $400.00

Non Resident - $1000.00

Burial Rates:

Resident or landowner weekday - $850.00

Resident or landowner Saturday - $950.00

Non Resident weekday- $950.00

Non Resident Saturday - $1050.00

Infant Burials - $375.00

Cremain Burials - $350.00

Cremain Burials Weekend - $450.00

We do not do Sunday, Holiday, or Winter Burials.

Cement footing - $50 per sq. foot

Due to the risk to monuments, curbs, etc. posed by snowplowing or attempting burials in frozen ground, the cemetery is generally closed for burials during the winter months. The Clerk and Burial Contractor make the recommendation to the Board for cemetery closing. Please be patient in the spring for burials as the ground in the northern portion of the cemetery stays very wet. The Clerk and Burial Contractor will determine when the cemetery will reopen for burials.

Contact the Sexton, Kimberly Michalski 989-670-8847, for any cemetery related issues such as burials, grave purchases, grave ownership or transfer information, etc.