Cemeteries have ground rules for decorating gravesites

Written by Dan Moran. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on April 03, 2019 with No Comments

On March 20, spring came to Northwest Indiana.  And as soon as we get a few nice days in a row, many families start thinking of decorating the graves of their loved ones.  As much as we understand the reasoning behind such activity, we want to remind everyone that there are decorating rules at Calumet Park Cemetery regarding what is and is not allowed in the cemetery.

In 1928, before the first burial was made, the founders of Calumet Park Cemetery had to decide on what type of cemetery they wanted to design; for the times they were living in, and for all generations to follow.  Having to set certain rules as far as decorating graves was concerned, a great deal of debate went on as some wanted an “anything goes” type of cemetery, while others felt a park-like setting would offer the best place for showing respect and feeling tranquility when visiting.

Both pictures shown reflect the final resting places of loved ones.  Both show the love and respect the survivors have for those who went before them.  The simple, uncluttered graves in the first picture were as envisioned by the forefathers of the 400-acre cemetery in Merrillville.  The rules set down in 1928 have been strictly adhered to by the current generation of owners, all descendants of the original founders of Calumet Park Cemetery.  A testament to those 90-year old decisions has resulted in Calumet Park Cemetery being named the Cemetery of the Year for 2018 by American Cemetery and Cremation magazine, also in its 90th year of publishing.

The second photo is filled with mementos, color, and creativity that meet the needs of the families buried there.  But multiply this scene by tens of thousands of graves and it would not be difficult to see the formation of a nightmare come to life.  Many cemeteries in the country that have allowed an anything-goes decorating policy are spending a great deal of time, money and effort in their attempt to find a legal way out of the chaotic appearances of their grounds after a couple of windy days.  What looked pretty when placed soon becomes an eyesore and a maintenance nightmare.

If you feel that you need to be able to display whatever you choose, then we kindly invite you to search around Northwest Indiana for a cemetery that gives you comfort in this way of displaying your remembrance of your lost loved ones.  If you want to have a beautiful, well kept, orderly and respectfully dignified final resting place, come visit us.  Calumet Park Cemetery has so many choices to meet anyone’s need and price point.

Any one of our family service counselors would be more than happy to take you on a tour of Calumet Park on the corner of 73rd and Taft in Merrillville.  They will explain what decorations may be used on whatever section that you would be interested in.  Simply put, no artificial decorations are allowed anywhere in the cemetery.   Some sections allow planting of flowers and some permit only cut flowers in approved vases. The best advice would be, for anyone wishing to do something at a loved one’s final resting place, to check in at the office before spending money on items that are not permitted.

It should be understood that the grounds crew will remove and dispose of any unauthorized grave decorations (or mausoleum or niche) without contacting the owner of the burial rights.  There are thousands upon thousands of graves in just the developed 175 acres of land and over 50,000 burials.  The sheer size of Calumet Park makes for a special challenge regarding maintenance, and having decorations that are not permitted only adds to the challenge.

If you have questions, please call 219-769-8803 and visit our website at mycalumetpark.com or Facebook at mycalumetpark.

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