Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures

Rules and Regulations

(Revised February, 2007)


The following rules and regulations have been adopted as a guide to the use and management of the Cemetery. The rules and regulations will help protect all who have interest here. All owners of interment rights, visitors and contractors performing work within the Cemetery shall be subjected to said rules and regulations, amendments or alterations as shall be adopted by the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery from time to time.


Crypt is a casket space in a mausoleum used for or intended to be used for the entombment of human remains.

Family Lot is an area of six lots or more restricted to a group of persons related by blood or marriage.

Lawn Crypt is an interment space in the Cemetery that contains a pre-constructed and pre-buried vault capable of holding a casket.

Lot is a grave, crypt or niche.

Memorial is a monument, tombstone, grave marker or headstone identifying a grave or graves or a nameplate with inscription identifying a crypt or niche.

Monument is an upright memorial made principally of stone.

Niche is a space in a mausoleum or columbarium used or intended to be used for the inurnment of cremated human remains.

Owner(s) is the person or persons to whom the Cemetery has conveyed a burial right or rights or a person or persons who have acquired such rights by transfer in accordance with the rules of the Cemetery or a person or persons who hold such burial right or rights by inheritance.

Single grave is a grave for one person.

Urn is a container used for cremated remains.

General Rules and Regulations

1. Rules and Regulations of the Cemetery and prices for burial spaces and services are made by the Cemetery and become effective upon approval by the Cemetery.

The Cemetery may, and it hereby expressly reserves the right, at any time, with or without notice to lot owners, to adopt new rules and regulations or to amend, alter and/or repeal any rule, regulation and/or article, section or paragraph in these Rules and Regulations. Special cases may arise in which the literal enforcement of the rule may impose unnecessary hardship. The Cemetery, therefore, reserves the right, without notice, to make exceptions, suspensions or modifications in any of the Rules and Regulations when, in its judgment, the same appear advisable, and such temporary exceptions, suspensions or modifications shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of such.

2. The Cemetery retains to itself, for the benefit of all interment right owners, full and complete supervision, control and management of the land, buildings, improvements, roads, walks, utilities, development, books and records, and the full and complete authority, rights and privileges to make, change administer and enforce all rules and regulations and restrictions not inconsistent with the laws of this State wherein this Cemetery is located.

3. All lots in the Cemetery are sold in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the State of Michigan and shall not be used for any other purpose than as a burial place for dead human beings. All lots sold after 1949 are sold with permanent maintenance provision.

4. Lots must be paid in full before a burial is made. Full purchase price must be paid before a certificate of ownership is issued.

5. Visiting hours:

Cemetery Hours
October 1 – April 30
8:30am – 4pm Daily
May 1 – September 30
7:00am – 7:00pm Daily

Office Hours
9:00am – 4pm Weekdays
9:00am – noon Saturdays
Closed Sunday

Any person found on the Cemetery grounds after closing will be considered a trespasser.

6. The Cemetery issues to each owner of the rights of burial for its lots, crypts or niches a Certificate of Ownership describing the location and naming the owner or owners of the said location. The naming of more than one owner is indicative of joint ownership in common with rights of survivorship.

The issuance of such certificate is the Cemetery’s sole form of recognition of ownership. Possession of the Certificate by a person whom is not listed on the Certificate is not in itself evidence of ownership. Purchasers of lots, crypts or niches simply acquire the right of burial.

7. The owner of interment rights hereunder may dispose of same by will or, should the owner die in testate, such interment rights shall pass according to laws of this State governing intestacy provided, however, the Cemetery shall not be bound by such transfers unless and until an exemplification of record of same has been presented to it and such change has been recorded on the books and records of the Cemetery. Any plot, crypt or niche in which there are no burials, entombments or inurnments may be transferred to a new owner, providing the original Certificate of Ownership is submitted to the Cemetery together with proper transfer agreement, upon payment of transfer fee in accordance with the Cemetery’s established schedule of charges.

8. In the event of loss or destruction of a Certificate of Ownership and upon the presentation of a written request, accompanied by a properly executed affidavit by the owner setting forth the circumstances of the loss or destruction and indemnification for the Cemetery, the Cemetery will prepare a duplicate Certificate from its records.

9. Lot owners are prohibited from allowing interments to be made on their lots for compensation.

10. If a lot owner sells or transfers title to his or her lot, as provided by these regulations, he or she must pay any and all indebtedness due the Cemetery before such transfer of title will be allowed.

11. All lot owners are required to notify the Cemetery of any change of address. All notices required to be sent shall be sent to the last recorded address and such notices shall be deemed adequate.

12. No person, other than employees of the Cemetery, shall be allowed to perform any work within the Cemetery without permission from the Cemetery.

13. The Cemetery shall direct all improvements within the grounds and upon all lots before and after interments have been made herein.

14. Charges for work and services performed by the Cemetery or for materials purchased from the Cemetery will be at rates as approved by the Cemetery.

15. The Cemetery will take all reasonable precautions to protect lot owners and their property within the Cemetery from loss, damage or injury but it shall not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury.

16. The use of the Cemetery land as a thoroughfare will not be permitted.

17. The right to use automobiles or other vehicles in the Cemetery is authorized solely and exclusively for the purpose of transporting persons to visit burial plots. The speed limit within the Cemetery is fifteen (15) miles per hour. Parking and/or driving on any gardens or grassy areas are prohibited for purposes other than those obtained from the Cemetery.

18. Bicycles, skates, snowmobiles, motorcycles, horses, etc., may not be used on Cemetery lands except with the approval of the Cemetery. Dogs are not permitted except when kept on a leash or in a vehicle.

19. Bringing alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs into the Cemetery is strictly prohibited.

20. The Cemetery shall have the right to enter upon or use any adjoining lot or lots to carry out its duties as to interments, erection of monuments or markers, etc., without prior notice to the lot owner.

21. No signs, notices or advertisements of any kind shall be allowed in the Cemetery unless placed by the Cemetery.

22. Peddling of any kind or soliciting the sale of any commodity, other than by the Cemetery, is prohibited within the confines of the Cemetery.

Interment & Funeral Regulations

23. Interments into a lot are restricted to those entitled to burial therein according to these rules and regulations.

24. The Cemetery shall be in no way liable for any delay in the interment of a body where a protest to the interment has been made or where the rules and regulations have not been complied with; and, further, the Cemetery reserves the right, under such circumstances, to place the body in the receiving vault until the full rights have been determined.

25. The use of one grave space shall be limited to interments as follows unless otherwise permitted by the Cemetery:
a) One adult burial, or
b) One adult burial and one infant burial, or
c) One adult burial and three urns of cremated remains, or
d) Four urns of cremated remains

The use and placement of memorials shall be governed by Rule 53 below.

26. No burial of a casket over three feet in length will be made unless there has been provided an outer container or receptacle of concrete or such other material which the Cemetery will deem to have comparable strength or resistance to deterioration.

27. Funerals are to be at the Cemetery by 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and by 2:00 p.m. on Saturday or be subject to overtime fees.

28. No disinterment will be allowed without permission of next of kin, the lot owner, the Cemetery and the proper authorities.

29. The Cemetery shall in no way be liable for any container, receptacle or urn of cremated remains placed in any lot, crypt or niche. A permanent type of urn or vault is required for ground interment of cremated remains. The scattering of cremated remains over a family lot is prohibited.

Flower & Decoration Regulations

30. The Cemetery reserves the right to remove all flowers, wreaths or other decorations from lots as soon as they become unsightly. The grounds will be cleared of decorations twice a year. Spring cleanup begins March 1, and Fall cleanup begins October 1. In order for a family to save any decorations placed on a grave, the decoration should be removed prior to these dates. New decorations may be placed beginning April 1 and November 1 respectively.

31. Fresh flower arrangements are allowed on lots in a disposable vase. Artificial flowers and glass containers are prohibited.

32. Grave blankets and wreaths are allowed as winter decorations from November 15 until the spring cleanup beginning March 1.

33. Items not allowed to be placed on a lot within the Cemetery include, but are not limited to, the following: shepherd’s hooks, standup decorations, coping, curbing, decorative rocks, fencing, hedging, grave mounds, borders or enclosures. No decorations of any type are permitted in trees or Cemetery plantings.

34. Flags may be placed on graves on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Flag Day, and Veterans Day. Flags should be kept to 12” by 18” in size or smaller. Flags are subject to removal by Cemetery within ten (10) days of the Holiday.

35. Trees and shrubs are placed throughout the Cemetery by the Cemetery for overall beauty and serenity of the grounds. Individual graves are not permitted to have trees or shrubs. Any such tree or shrub not approved by the Cemetery may be removed without notice to the lot owner.

36. Certain lots embrace a tree that may interfere with space that otherwise might be used for burial. In such a case, the Cemetery recognizes that right to the retention of the trees as prior to the right of use of such space for burial. Should any such tree die naturally, the Cemetery will remove it at its own expense.

37. Glass is prohibited at all times.

38. Devotional lights of any type are prohibited in the Cemetery.

39. The Cemetery shall have the right to remove all objects whose appearance and condition warrant removal and/or violate the Cemetery’s rules and regulations. The Cemetery also will not be liable for any flower or decoration removed or lost by any cause.

Planting Policies

Individual Burial Spaces
40. Planting will not be permitted to cover substantially an entire grave space or even the center or end of a grave away from the headstone.

41. Planting will be permitted in the area the length and width of a headstone and directly below the same.

42. Artificial flowers, displays and designs will not be permitted anywhere except artificial wreaths simulating dark green or dark brown leaves with modest use of contrasting berries will be permitted if maintained in sightly condition and in proper position.

43. Winter blankets and sprays made of artificial flowers and material will not be permitted. They must be of balsam or pine and decorations confined to red ruscus, natural or silvered pinecones and red berries. Removal tags must be attached or purchased at the Cemetery office.

Family Burial Lots
44. The foregoing regulations relative to plants on single grave spaces will apply also to family burial lots except that family lot proprietors may obtain approval from the General Manager or his or her designee (to be given only in writing) of other forms of planting if considered consistent with the general landscaping of the particular part of the Cemetery and if adequate arrangements are made for the care of the planting and for any added cost of maintaining surrounding grass areas.

Family Monuments

45. Monuments are not permitted except on a lot (consisting of six or more single grave spaces) and except in accordance with these rules. Where the configuration of the lot permits a family monument, the size, material and design of the monument must be submitted for prior approval by the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery. No monument on any lot, other than those so designated in the prior rules, shall be installed without first being reviewed and approved by the Trustees.

Markers and Monuments

46. All memorials must be made of the highest quality standard bronze or of granite approved by the Cemetery except on the monument lots where all monuments shall be made of granite. All markers on individual graves shall be set flush except in limited designated area. The granites which will be accepted at Elmwood are limited to quality granites and in colors approved by the Cemetery. The following granites and colors have been pre-approved as of the date hereof: Barre Gray, Ebony Mist Black, Mahogany, Missouri Red, Dominion Pink, Mountain Rose Pink, Blue Pearl and Waussau.

47. The Cemetery shall have the authority to reject any memorial that, on account of its size, type, design, inscription, quality, color or method of construction is unsuitable for the particular lot or grave on which it is to be placed. The Cemetery reserves the right to prevent the placing or to remove any marker or other objects that do not comply with the standards of the Cemetery. Also, the Cemetery reserves the right to require the purchase of any and all markers from the Cemetery or approved producers or retail dealers.

48. No marker or monument will be accepted by the Cemetery for installation unless a sketch has been furnished defining the dimensions, material content and lettering and permission of the lot owner or proper agent of the person having burial rights in the grave to be marked. All markers and monument foundations shall be placed by employees or agents of the Cemetery only.

49. All fees or encumbrances due on a lot must be paid in full prior to any memorial being placed on the lot, including any installation fee.

50. Corner markers are allowed on all lots and must be installed at grade level.

51. In the event a memorial is placed where it is necessary to remove it for an interment or disinterment, the Cemetery shall have the right to remove such memorial without notice to the lot owner.

52. The Cemetery may, at its own expense, without any liability, correct any error that may occur in the placing of a foundation or memorial.

53. Memorials shall be set in accordance with the general plan of the Cemetery. Not more than two (2) memorials may be placed on a grave, one at the head and the other at the foot, unless otherwise approved by the Cemetery.

54. No photographs or porcelain material may be incorporated into any memorial. No protective glass or breakable material of any kind will be allowed on the memorial.

55. Monuments cannot exceed one-half of the width of the lot or a six-foot maximum. The tablet must be at least eight inches thick. The base and tablet together cannot exceed five feet in height except on lots specifically plotted for larger family monuments or family mausoleums.

56. Marker Regulations: Sections 7, 6, 2; On lots as designated on maps of the Cemetery, respectively, will permit slant style markers made of Gray granite to all be 24 inches by 10 inches in length and 16 inches high. All the slant style memorials will have rock pitch sides, back and top. This is the only style, size and material permitted on these lots.

57. Monument Regulations: Sections R and T; On lots as designated on maps of the Cemetery. Upright family monuments or lawn level memorials are permitted on these lots. The upright family monuments must be made of quality granite and in colors approved by the Cemetery. The following granites and colors have been pre-approved as of the date hereof: Barre Gray, Ebony Mist Black, Mahogany, Missouri Red, Dominion Pink, Mountain Rose Pink, Blue Pearl and Waussau. The monument base must be rock pitched on all four sides with a polished or steeled top. The tablet, or die, must have a polished or steeled front, back and top. The sides must be rock pitched. The monuments may only be one of the following two sizes:
Tablet 30 inches by 8 inches by 20 inches high
Base 40 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches high
Tablet 36 inches by 8 inches by 24 inches high
Base 46 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches high


58. All entombments or inurnments in the mausoleum must be performed by regular employees of the Cemetery. All bodies to be entombed in the mausoleum must be embalmed.

59. Such entombments must be made in a casket understanding the crypt dimensions are 2’ 8” wide by 2’ 2” high by 7’ 8” deep.

60. The Cemetery will provide all inscriptions, lettering or crypt plates on the crypt or niche fronts to ensure uniformity. Either a floral tribute area or vase will be provided for each crypt.

61. The Cemetery reserves the right to limit floral tributes. Only one floral tribute per crypt or niche is allowed to be placed on the benches or other holders where provided.

62. The Cemetery reserves the right to remove all flowers, wreaths or other decorations from the mausoleum as soon as they become unsightly. The mausoleum will be cleared of decorations once a year. The annual cleanup will begin March 1. In order for a family to save any decorations placed in the mausoleum, the decorations should be removed prior to these dates. New decorations may be placed beginning April 1.

63. Visiting hours are as posted in the Cemetery. Any person found in the mausoleum after closing without permission will be considered a trespasser.

64. No decorative objects or photos may be affixed to the crypt fronts by tape or other means. No toys, glass containers, ceramic containers or like objects shall be permitted in the mausoleum. All such unauthorized items will be removed by the Cemetery without notice.

65. All niche spaces in the mausoleum are intended for an individual inurnment. A container of suitable material is required.