Friday, December 1, 2023
The Environmental Resilience Department poses with the award. Back L to R: Lee Bergey; Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, Director of Environmental Resilience; Levi Moser. Front L to R: Theresa Sailor, Education Grant Writer; Melanie Helmuth, Urban Forestry Assistant; Acadia Imhof; Alexa Kennel; Brandi Devoe,... more
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Notice is given that Ordinance 5171, Amending Ordinance Violations Bureau, was passed by the Goshen Common Council on November 13, 2023, and approved and adopted by Mayor Leichty. Ordinance 5171 describes and continues the operation of previously established City of Goshen Ordinance Violations Bureau;... more
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Notice is given that Ordinance 5170, Regulation of Open Burning in the City of Goshen and Providing Penalties for Violations of Such Regulations, was passed by the Goshen Common Council on November 13, 2023, and approved and adopted by Mayor Leichty. Ordinance 5170 prohibits open burning in the... more
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Thursday, December 7, 2023, 7:30am
Downtown Goshen Economic Improvement District
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 January 18, 2022 City Council meeting in Ordinance 5114.
Launched in 2019, the Forest of Remembrance at Oakridge Cemetery allows a loved one’s cremated remains to be buried under a newly planted tree—or a tree can be planted to commemorate any season of life. Spring or fall plantings can be scheduled. A choice of trees is available. Contact the Cemetery for more information.
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 1841 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 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.
How can I find a burial?
To locate a burial at Violett click here.
To locate a burial at Oakridge click here.
To locate a burial at West Goshen Cemetery, click here.
Or scan the QR code on the shop door, then:
What do I Do With Cremated Remains?
More people are choosing cremation and relatives frequently delay the final disposition of those cremated remains until more convenient time. Here is what you need to know if you have cremated remains in your possession:
Under Indiana statute, a funeral director should be present whenever cremated remains are buried, placed in a columbarium or scattered. 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) for ground burial (except in the Forest of Remembrance). An urn of non-biodegradable is required for our community columbaria. The dimensions of our niches are 11.25”X 11.25”X 11.25”. 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, inurnment or scattering and the dimensions of the vault being used (for a ground burial).
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. For scattering, a signed Scattering Agreement must be included as well.
Our cremation garden at Violett Cemetery provides community columbarium niches, single cremation burial spaces and a scattering area (scattering is not permitted elsewhere in our cemeteries.) Our Forest of Remembrance at Oakridge allows cremated remains to be buried under a newly planted tree. Cremated remains can also 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.
The fee for scattering or opening/closing the grave or niche must be paid in advance of the internment, either through the funeral home or directly to the sexton.
What is This Violett Cremation Garden?
In late 2017, work was completed on a new cremation garden at Violett Cemetery. This area was conceived by our staff to receive cremated human remains and commemorate the persons whose remains are placed here. Cremation has only increased in popularity and use over the past 15 years. Options for the dignified disposition of those cremated remains have been limited locally. This garden offers several attractive choices for families. There are small burial spaces for individual cremations. A community columbarium has individual niches available for purchase. Additionally, a planted scattering area provides a permanent, attractive location for a loved one’s ashes.
Do You Have Spring Clean-up?
Yes, our spring clean-up occurs Monday to Friday the first full week of April (3–7 in 2023). 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, plush items, 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.
How Do I Purchase a Burial Space?
Contact the sexton of the cemetery where you wish to be interred for an appointment. We can show you what’s available during our regular weekday office hours. Checks should be made out to the City of Goshen. Payment plans can be arranged through the City Clerk Treasurer’s office.
What is a Family Burial Plot?
We frequently have folks come to us and tell us they have an old cemetery deed from their parents or grandparents. Sometimes they assume that possession of that deed puts them in possession of the burial rights to any unused spaces.
If the owner of the unused spaces is deceased and they were not specifically transferred in a will, they have become a family burial plot under Indiana law. The owner’s living spouse, children and parents have the right to be buried “at need” on these spaces and after their passing other potential heirs.
However, to preplan a burial and place a monument or to bury someone other than a spouse, child or parents of the owner, permission must be given or these spaces need to be transferred to a living person.
A common example would be: the parents bought four spaces and were buried on two, leaving two unused. There are three living adult children. If any of those children dies unexpectedly, they could be buried “at need” on one of the remaining spaces without written permission. However, if the spouse of one of the children dies and needs a burial space, all three children must give written permission. Or, if all three children agree to give the remaining spaces to one of them for future use, they must all give written permission.
The City has a legal interest in ensuring that the right to use spaces on a family burial plot is protected. To expedite this, affidavits are available through the Cemetery offices or from the City Clerk-Treasurer’s office. Once completed and notarized they should be returned to the sexton or City Clerk-Treasurer.
For other location questions, you may contact the sexton.