Cemetery Abby

Riverside Cemetery, designated a historic site by the Michigan Preservation Office and placed on the State Register of Historic Sites on August 29, 1996, is devoted to the repose of the dead and dedicated to serving families and preserving memories.     

Cemetery Historian

The text on the first side of the historic marker states: “The first burial in this cemetery occurred in 1837, the year Michigan became a state. Land developer Jesse Crowell had purchased a one and one-half acre parcel in 1836 and cleared it in 1837 for use as a burial ground. In 1842, Crowell sold the land to the Albion Cemetery Corporation for two dollars. The cemetery was enlarged in 1853, 1885, and 1914, resulting in a total of forty-six acres. Reflecting Albion’s ethnically diverse population, the cemetery has areas known as “The Russian Section,” “German Hill,” and a section for African-American veterans from World War I. A private Catholic cemetery contains the remains of people from Italy, Lithuania, and Poland.”

The second side reads “Originally known as Albion Cemetery and Albion Burying Ground, this cemetery was named Riverside in 1886 by the City Council. In addition to a unique array of tombstones, the cemetery includes an impressive mausoleum, an office, a receiving vault, and a fishpond. Riverside Cemetery contains the remains of Albion pioneers and veterans as well as distinguished and notorious citizens. Those interred here include Washington Gardner (1845-1928), who served in the U.S. Congress and as Michigan’s Secretary of State; and Michigan State Senator Warren G. Hooper (1905-1945) who was shot gangland-style before he could appear before a grand jury and testify regarding corruption. This marker was funded by the Albion Civic Foundation.”

The City maintains Riverside Cemetery as a monument to Albion's history, preserving historical records, protecting the Cemetery's natural beauty, and performing interments in an expedient, dignified manner. The Department of Public Works is the department responsible for the management and general care of the Cemetery property grounds. This includes mowing and trimming of grass, maintenance of drives, trimming of trees, and shrubs, as well as decoration removal twice a year.  Summer decorations removal starts on November 2, 3and Winter decorations removal starts on March 16. These dates do not change.  Any decoration that a lot owner wants to save needs to be removed prior to the pick-up dates. The cemetery staff is under no obligation to notify visitors of the removal and disposal of any decorations.  

Cemetery Office

Cemetery staff is happy to assist the public with genealogical research, sales of lots and burial arrangements, and information on decorations placement.