By Pat Kittle,
You’ve all seen it at the corner of White Lake and Dixie Highway, but did you know it’s been there for over 170 years. After being inspired by a site visit coordinated by Joette Kunse, the Township will be partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to develop a plan to begin headstone cleaning and restoration in the historic section of Lakeview Cemetery.
After 170 years of exposure, multiple headstones are really starting to show their age due to exposure to the elements. And before things get to a state where restoration is no longer possible, the time to act is now. The services of a Commerce Township based historic headstone restoration company has been retained to identify the scope and estimated costs of this endeavor.
A little history first. Lakeview Cemetery was first established on three acres of farmland secured from William Van Sycle on July 20, 1850. It was originally known as the Independence Union Cemetery. Officers of the original association were James Bartlett as President and Horatio Foster as Secretary. The first burial that took place was Mr. Flavel Greenleaf in 1851.
In 1870 the cemetery grew larger with the addition of six acres of land. In 1895 it became known as the Lakeview Cemetery Association. Independence Township took over the ownership, care and maintenance of the cemetery in 1948.
Lakeview Cemetery now has approximately a total of 30 acres. There are 7,191 occupants as of this past August 6. In total, it has 10,691 graves. This number includes full size graves, cremation graves, baby graves, a veteran’s section, three mausoleums and five new columbaria with a total of 480 niches. Lakeview is well known for its beautiful landscape, rolling terrain, mature trees, and is extremely well maintained. The setting is incredibly peaceful and tranquil being located next to Middle Lake.
If you would be willing to participate in the clean-up process or donate to cover restoration costs, please give DPW Cemetery Coordinator Carole Ann Strachan a call at 248-625-4146. Carole Ann will record your contact information and forward information on proposed plans as they become available.
Lakeview Cemetery is located at 6150 White Lake Road on the corner of White Lake Road and Dixie Highway. If you are interested in looking at or purchasing a grave, please call 248-625-4146 to set up an appointment. The office hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. The office is located at the DPW, 6050 Flemings Lake Road.
By Pat Kittle,