July 11, 2013 by Amy Elliott Bragg
New project: Every cemetery in Detroit
It’s about time I hatched this project:
This year Eventually, I’m visiting every cemetery in Detroit.
At first this seemed daunting, because for some reason I had it stuck in my head that there were over 30 cemeteries in Detroit. Where did that number come from? I have no idea, but it was so overwhelming that I never actually sat down and counted out a list of every cemetery in Detroit.
Today I did. I count
17 18 19 more than 20. That is doable not as bad as I thought! Maybe some of you have already done it. And I’ve already been to half of them, including the one that’s inside the GM Poletown plant and only open twice a year. So everything else should be a cake walk.
So here’s my half-year’s resolution: Visit every cemetery in Detroit. (Oh and: Spend more time in my hammock. And also: Go to the beach on a weekday. And more day hikes! But I digress.)
A few ground rules: We’re starting with city-proper cemeteries. They don’t have to be operating, but they must be extant. (I’m not gonna make it a point to stand around in the middle of Hart Plaza or Cass Avenue because someone found some bones there once.) I’m not counting stand-alone tombs, like Stevens T. Mason’s in Capitol Park (although I can’t think of any other stand-alone tombs). I will visit all of them afresh, even those I have been to dozens of times (looking at you, Elmwood). Then I’ll write about it. I’ve decided that I will not count church columbaria as cemeteries although I’d like to visit all of those, too, at some point.
I begin with a low-hanging cemetery: unassuming Evergreen on Woodward Avenue, not far from my own home. Despite countless visits to right-next-door Woodlawn, until a few weeks ago I had never visited Evergreen, because it looked less interesting. That’s true, but it was more interesting, and much larger, than I expected.
For those playing at home (cemetery Bingo?), here’s my stitched-up list of every cemetery in Detroit. I’ll add links as I go. Am I missing anything?
Old Redford (Bell Branch)
Sacred Heart of Mary (Greenwood)
St. Bonaventure Monastery (Solanus Casey Center)
St. Paul of the Cross (Passionist)
Scotch Settlement (Evergreen)
*NOTE (7/12/13): I’ve realized that I’m missing a couple of church graveyards, which I am working on collecting and adding to the list. We might do all of those as a round-up, but not sure yet!
*NOTE (11/18/13): Will this happen before the end of the year? It’s not looking good! But I remain steadfast in this task, if somewhat slower than I thought I could go.
*NOTE (9/1/14): Still doing this / back at it.
*NOTE (8/22/16): How is it possible that I can only manage to do one or two of these PER YEAR? But I’m not quitting yet.
Thanks to those of you who have offered additional sites! I’m still gonna DO THIS!