Fort Pierre City Council To Consider Future Of Cedar Hill Cemetery

(KCCR) — The Fort Pierre City Council is looking into the future of the Cedar Hill Cemetery. Mayor Gloria Hanson says city staff is looking for direction with the site…

“It is several hundred years old, old enough to have civil war veterans, old enough to have wooden headstones and it is an awesome piece of history. It is in a beautiful, but very rugged area with steep hills and it has gotten to the point where it’s very difficult for graves to be dug and its difficult for a hearse to get around in there. The other problem and maybe the biggest problem, is that our records are not good.”
Hanson says the City doesn’t want to get into an awkward situation with future use…

“The last thing we want to do is to sell a plot, a burial plot and then find out that it’s not available, that it’s occupied and so out of respect for the people who are buried there, out of respect for our history, the Council is considering a moratorium on selling anymore lots. We had talked about limiting the plots, the sales to cremations, because they aren’t as deep or as large obviously, but we still don’t want to run into a problem.”
Hanson says the Cedar Hill Cemetery is at a point where it may not be able to accept new plots…

“We may be there, it’s not a large cemetery and like I say it’s very rugged hillsides and we really don’t know. We had Doug Runge there, who is the care taker for Scotty Phillip and he was at our meeting last night and gave us good advice. He just said, 150 years ago, many times, especially in cases of flu epidemics there would be more than one family member buried in a grave site there might be one on top of the other, and so you can’t even be sure that you could go down even two feet for a cremation and be safe and not disturbing something and so, that’s the last thing we want to do. The people there deserve our respect.”
Hanson says the City of Fort Pierre is asking those who have purchased a family plot in the Cedar Hill Cemetery to contact the city and that Fort Pierre will deal with each on a case-by-case basis. The Fort Pierre City Council is expected to consider a moratorium on future use of the Cedar Hill Cemetery at it’s first meeting in March.