Granite Hill Cemetery seeking public interest in purchasing graves

GRANTS PASS, OR. — Granite Hill Cemetery may soon have graves available for sale. Josephine County Parks Department who manages and owns the property is looking to reopen sales.

Granite Hill Cemetery has been around since the 1880s but hasn’t sold graves for about 10 years.

“We’ve been turning all of our paper records into electronic records and through that process, we found about 300 graves that haven’t been sold,” Sarah Garceau, Josephine County Parks Director said.

The Parks Department said they are interested in opening sales, but needs to ensure that plots are sold fairly if demand exceeds availability.

They are asking those interested in potentially purchasing a grave at the Cemetary to fill out an online form by May 13th so that the first review of public interest can be analyzed.

Pricing is now set at $1,000 per grave.

Garceau said it costs around $12,000 just to maintain the cemetery each year.  Currently, funds are covered from other park revenues including camping and day use fees. The parks department is planning to have a long-term revenue plan, which may include building walls with niches for cremains.

“Mainly up Pine Crest road, the entire length somewhere that would unlikely to be hit by vehicles but lots of space we could utilize to secure the future funding of the cemetery,” Garceau said.

The department said they hope to sell around a dozen graves each year, to allow the cemetery to become self-funded for a few years.

“Hopefully this will help us be established and help the parks be a little bit more financially healthy.”

The Parks Department provides maintenance by weed eating in the spring and picks up leaves in the fall.   A volunteer clean-up day is scheduled to help with landscaping needs. It will be held on May 11th from 9 a.m. to noon.

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