Rules and Regulations

Elmwood Cemetery

Elmwood Cemetery was dedicated in 1883 and consisted originally of about six acres well adapted to purposes of sepulture. It lies one mile north of the corporation line of the City of Lorain, and is readily accessible.

The cemetery grounds now contain 140 acres. The portion that now is landscaped and used for interment consists of 40 acres fronting North Ridge Road.


The rules and regulations have been adopted for the care of lots and are designed to give all lot owners equal rights and protection therein.

Such authorized individual as appointed by the Service Director shall strictly enforce these rules and regulations.


Visiting hours for the cemetery shall be from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.


Elmwood Cemetery is owned and operated by the City of Lorain, under the management of the Service Director. There is at all times an authorized individual that assumes actual charge of the cemetery. The office shall be open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays or as otherwise authorized by the Service Director.

Plats and Records

The official records of the cemetery are maintained in the office of the Service Director at City Hall and are open for public inspection during normal business hours. These records contain pertinent information concerning ownership of lots, the lots and grave location(s) and the name and date of grave occupancy.

The clerk shall collect and receive all moneys and shall pay same at least once a month to the City of Treasurer who shall deposit said funds to the credit of the City in a separate fund known as "Elmwood Cemetery Fund."

All monies so deposited, together with the income there from, shall be subject to control and power of the investment of same by the City Council. All moneys from said fund can be paid out only upon the warrant of the City Auditor and upon the direction of the Director of Public Service.

The clerk of the Director of Public Service shall render a report of all receipts each month to the City Auditor.

The supervisor shall, under the direction of the Director of Service, have the general care and custody of the grounds of the cemetery. All improvements and work done on the avenues and grounds generally shall be under his direct supervision and care. He, or one of his assistants, shall be present at every interment and all interments and funerals shall be under his control and direction.


Under the statutes of the State of Ohio, a municipal corporation may realize no profit from the sale of cemetery lots. Therefore, the prices fixed for lots in the City of Lorain cemetery are based upon the actual cost of development and maintenance only.

Every lot or single grave is sold subject to the rules and regulations now in force or that may be hereafter adopted, and to such changes of the present rules and regulations that are found necessary for the protection of lot owners and the general landscape effect of the cemetery.

Lots are exempt from taxation and cannot be seized for debt, nor attached by any process of law, nor can they be mortgaged. The courts have held that a deed to a cemetery lot represents personal property, not real estate, and that a surviving spouse has no dower rights therein; however, his/her right of burial in the lot may not be denied. The deed to a lot conveys only burial rights and the title to the land remains with the City of Lorain.

The ownership to a deed to a lot does not confer any right to do planting or erect a monument, mausoleum, vase or such upon said lot. The ownership of a deed to a lot does not confer the right to sell, transfer or assign such lot or any portion thereof. Such sales, transfers or assignments are privileges, which may be granted or refused by the Service Director, and his approval shall be endorsed on the conveyance. The City of Lorain reserves the right of repurchase of a lot at the price paid for same, when the owner has been granted permission to dispose of same.

When a lot is conveyed by the City of Lorain to two or more persons, they take tenants in common. In such case, upon the death of one, their interest goes to their heirs. If a deed is made to husband and wife, upon the death of one, the entire title rests in the name of the surviving spouse. When husband and wife are both living, joint ownership is advised. The City of Lorain strongly advises against the purchase of lots in partnership in any other relationship. Experience has proven that such ownership invariably leads to disagreements and subsequent court actions. The City of Lorain will not hold itself liable or record any private agreement(s) between partners in such ownership. To prevent interment, it will be necessary for one of the owners to prohibit the opening of graves on such lot by court order; otherwise, burial will be permitted by order of any of the owners.

The removal of any body(ies) of the deceased lot owner or his family by the heirs for profit or other reasons not considered proper by the Service Director, shall not be permitted. Upon the death or judicially declared incompetence of a lot owner, it is the duty of the heirs, devisees, or guardian to file with the City of Lorain competent proof of their right to the use of the lot. Furthermore, burial upon a lot may not be permitted until such proof is presented. The owner of a lot may, during his lifetime, designate, in writing, to the City of Lorain, the names of those family (or near relatives) whom he wishes to have interred upon his lot. Such writing shall be filed with the office copy of the deed and the Service Director will see to it that none but those so designated are interred therein.

The grade line of all lots and single graves are established before lots or graves are sold and shall not be changed, as the deed to a lot conveys only the right of burial therein. The City of Lorain retains control and supervision of all lots that have been sold. It shall be the duty of the supervisor to enter upon any lot(s) and prohibit, modify or remove any structure, object, improvement, or adornment on such lot(s) which may have been placed thereon in violation of the rules, or which may be considered objectionable or injurious to the lot(s) or adjoining lot(s), or the general appearance of the cemetery.

Purchase of Lot or Spaces

A space is defined as a portion of ground available for one interment.

A lot is a multiple of two or more spaces.

Family Memorial Section – This section was developed to provide families an opportunity to erect memorials with the family name. These memorials are restricted in size and style as defined in the Monuments, Markers and Memorials section of this booklet. A flush marker shall mark all individual graves within this section. Families can purchase a four or eight space lot. No memorial however will be erected on a lot with fewer than eight spaces and cannot exceed twelve spaces. The family memorial must be in place before individual grave markers are placed.

Choosing Space – Persons wishing to purchase a lot should inspect the site at the cemetery. No lot will be sold on unplatted ground, or before the price for the section is fixed. Single space selections shall follow cemetery policies.

Agreement – All purchases of lots shall be by agreement. The agreement is to be made in triplicate at the cemetery by the supervisor at the time of the sale and must be signed by the purchaser.

If the lot purchased is not paid for in full at time of sale, the following conditions shall apply:

  1.  Acertificate of title will not be issued until full payment is made.

  2. The space or portion of lot to be occupied by interments shall be paid for in full before said interments are made.

  3. The total purchase price shall be paid in full at time of purchase.

Payment – The prices of lots are fixed by the Director of Public Service. Payments of lots or spaces are transacted in the office of the Service Director at regular office hours, Monday through Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Funerals and Interments

All funerals and interments within the cemetery grounds are under the direction of the supervisor or as designated by the Service Director. Interments will not be allowed until proper arrangements have been made with the cemetery supervisor. The number of interments, which may be upon a lot, is fixed at the time of purchase of said lot. The super- visor determines the arrangement of the location of graves upon a lot so that uniformity shall prevail. The supervisor shall make no burial until all arrangements and permits have been completed.

The fees for interment may be obtained at the cemetery office. In all cases, the base rate shall include the opening and closing of the grave, lining of the grave, covering earth with green carpet, the use of the lowering device and the sodding and seeding of the grave. There shall be an additional charge for the use of a tent. Interment charges are due and payable prior to the interment.

The burial of two or more persons in one grave shall not be permitted, except if a mother and stillborn child are to be buried at the same time or as may be authorized by the Service Director. Exceptions will be made in the case of cremations.

When a lot is held by two or more persons, a permit for interment will be granted to either of them and in such part of the lot as he may request. Persons making requests for interments must be able to give the following information: full name of the deceased, last residence, age, place of birth, and place and date of death. When making application for interment and the cemetery records show the ownership of the lot to be in a different name than that of the person to be interred, providing no previous arrangement has been made, it shall be necessary for the deed or Burial Authorization Form to accompany said application; otherwise, no permit for interment will be issued.

Funerals shall be conducted during regular cemetery hours, which are Monday through Friday, prior to 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday prior to 3:00 p.m. The time of the funeral shall be determined as of entry of the funeral procession into the cemetery. Interments on Sunday are not permitted except in case of emergency, or in the case of contagious disease when ordered by the Board of Health, or on holidays except in the case of an emergency. Interments and disinterments shall be made by regular cemetery employees, upon written orders from the office of the Service Director. The Director of Service reserves the right to correct any errors that may be made either in marking interments, disinterments or removals, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property. The Director can accomplish this by either of the following methods: canceling such conveyance and substitution and conveying, in lieu thereof, other interment property of equal value and similar location, if possible, or, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event the error shall involve the interment of remains of any person on such property, the Service Director reserves the right to remove and re-inter the remains of such property of equal value and similar location as may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof. Outer cases of concrete or steel, of not less than 10 gauge, are to be used for all burials.


Holidays are defined as follows: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Disinterments and Removals

No disinterments will be permitted on Sunday.

When remains are to be disinterred and removed from the cemetery, a permit from the Board of Health must be presented at the office of the Director of Public Service and application for removal shall be made in accordance with the statutes of Ohio governing the disinterment and removal of dead bodies.

If remains are to be removed from one lot to another in the cemetery or from the cemetery, written consent when possible shall be obtained of the lot owner of heirs from whose lot the remains are to be removed.

An applicant for disinterment must sign a form with the Director of Public Service to prevent the City of Lorain from any liability or damage caused by disinterment or re-interment.

Should any single space be vacated and the remains removed from the cemetery, the space so vacated shall revert back to the cemetery and the regular charge for disinterment will be made, but should the remains be transferred to a family lot in Elmwood Cemetery the single space may be surrendered to the cemetery at the price paid and the regular charge for disinterment and re-interment will be made.

On the transfer of remains from one single space to another single space, the space removed from may be surrendered to the cemetery at the price paid; and the regular charge for disinterment and re-interment together with the cost of the new grave space will be made.

Private Vaults

Private vaults or mausoleums will be permitted upon lots especially provided for this purpose by the cemetery management.

The exterior walls shall be of sandstone, granite or marble and fitted with catacombs, where interments can be made separately and hermetically sealed at the time of depositing the body. Entrance to such vaults must be provided with one or more durable and non-corrosive doors.

Plans and specifications for such intended structure must first be submitted to the Director of Service and will be subject to his approval.

The construction of any vault shall be subject to the inspection of the Director of Service or his authorized agent or agents and the right to reject any material or manner of workmanship is hereby reserved.

In all cases the owner of the lot or lots shall be held liable for any and all damages caused either to the cemetery or to private property, in the construction of the vault.

Persons engaged in erecting vaults are prohibited from attaching ropes to trees or shrubs and from scattering their material over adjoining lots and in all cases, must restore the grounds and drives to a condition satisfactory to the supervisor.

The cemetery shall not be responsible for damage to vaults or other structures caused by forces over which it has no control.

Transfer, Assignment or Re-Sale of Deed

To protect all lot or space owners, the Director of Service must approve the sale, transfer or assignment of the deed of ownership for any lot of space by endorsement of the conveyance.

The ownership of right of interment in a reserved single space is not transferable.

In an interment of other than the immediate member of the family, the owner must submit written permission granting the right of interment to the superintendent of the cemetery.

The owner of a lot or space may sell said lot or space to the City of Lorain at any time. The price for such lot shall be equal to the original purchase price.

All lots, under the laws of the State of Ohio, "are exempt from taxation, execution, attachment or any other claim, lien or process whatever."


The use of a tent for interment services is available and may be used on a first- come, first-served basis. The supervisor reserves the right to make the decision to grant the setting of a tent for an interment in the cemetery. Due to the inclement weather, permission to set a tent may be denied. Tents will not be set during a period of thunderstorms or lightening; as the poles used to set tents are steel. Tents will be made available from April 1st through November 1st. After November 1st, the supervisor will determine the use of a tent. Inclement weather shall include the following:

  1. When the temperature is below twenty-five degrees F;

  2. During a period of snowfall which prevents employees from getting to the grave location;

  3. During a period of thunderstorms or lightening;

  4. During a period of high winds, in excess of ten (10) miles per hour;

Lot Corner Posts

Steel bars have been used in marking all of the major corners of lots throughout the cemetery and any lot corner may be found by measuring from them. However, if lot owners desire to mark the corners of lots, the following rules shall govern:

  1. Lot corner posts shall not extend above the level of the ground;

  2. Any marker used shall be square and not more than four inches (4") on each side and shall extend at least twelve inches (12") into the ground;

  3. The use of raised letters or numbers is not permitted on lot corner posts;

  4. All markers will be set by cemetery personnel, under the direction of the supervisor and paid for by the lot owner.

Trees and Shrubs

The city shall plant all trees and shrubs within the cemetery boundaries. Lot owners shall not do any planting of trees and shrubs. Those desiring shade or open lawns for their lots will have a variety from which to select. The city reserves the right to remove trees and shrubs planted in violation of these rules. Landscape beauty and unity in a cemetery cannot be maintained except through single control. All persons are prohibited from gathering flowers, either wild or cultivated, breaking trees, shrubbery or plants within the cemetery, whether on his lot or elsewhere. The cemetery employees shall do all work. No planting or digging within the cemetery shall be permitted unless authorized by the supervisor.

Potted Plants and Flower Vases

Potted plants will be permitted upon lots three (3) days prior to and seven (7) days after the following holidays: Easter, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas. All potted plants left after the ten (10) day period shall become the sole property of the City of Lorain. Fresh cut flowers are permitted at any time; however, only one vase of cut flowers will be permitted upon a grave with the exception of Easter, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas. Vases shall be centered with each marker and placed within six inches of said marker. Cut flower receptacles must fit inside furnished containers. Cemetery personnel shall not be responsible for maintenance of same.

Artificial Wreaths

Artificial wreaths shall be permitted upon lots only during the winter months from November 1st through March 15th, Easter and Memorial Day. All artificial wreaths left at any other time shall become the sole property of the City of Lorain.

Cut Flowers

Cut flowers and all other items shall be remove the second Tuesday of each month from April through November, or at the discretion of the supervisor should they become unsightly at any time during the month. Pick-up schedule is available at the cemetery office.

Monuments, Markers and Memorials

Monument: A monument shall be defined as a marker consisting of two separate pieces. The base structure of the monument shall not exceed 36 inches in length, 12 inches in width and 6 inches in height. The upright section of marker shall not exceed 30 inches in length, 6 inches in width, and 24 inches in height. These dimensions are for monuments embracing one or more graves and are for sections that monuments are permissible within Elmwood Cemetery. This regulation is applicable for purchases made from the calendar year 1990 to present.

Monuments prior to calendar year 1990: For purchases made prior to calendar year 1990 and with a four grave lot, the regulation for monuments are any marker consisting of two pieces with the base not exceeding 48 inches in length, 14 inches wide, and 8 inches in height. The upright section of monument shall not exceed 36 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 24 inches in height

Flush Markers: Shall embrace one or more graves and shall not exceed 36 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and 4 inches in height. Said markers are permissible anywhere within Elmwood Cemetery.

Slant Markers: Shall embrace one or more graves and shall not exceed 36 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and 18 inches in height. These markers are only permissible in sections of Elmwood Cemetery that allow Monuments.

Memorials: Memorials shall be defined as a one or two-piece structure bearing the family name only. A Memorial shall not have any individual names, titles, or dates of birth or death. These memorials are only allowed in the section of Elmwood Cemetery known as the Family Memorial Section and base shall not exceed 8 feet in length, 18 inches in width, and 12 inches in height. The upright portion of this memorial shall not exceed 7 feet in length, 12 inches in width and 48 inches in height. The foundations for the Memorials shall be 8 inches wider at each side of the memorial and shall be installed by the memorial company with the approval of the City Engineer. These memorials shall embrace no less than 8 graves and not to exceed 12 graves. Each grave shall have individual flush markers identifying the burial.

Excavation and Foundation

Any and all work connected in any way with the placing of foundations and digging and filling of graves shall be done by cemetery employees under the direction of the supervisor, and only after proper application has been made.

Delivery of Monuments, Markers and Memorials

No delivery shall be made on Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.

No delivery shall be made on any day after 3:30 p.m.

Delivery and erection of monuments and markers shall be prearranged with the supervisor so that no interference with interments will ensue.


Monument, Markers and Memorials: The supervisor of the cemetery shall inspect all monuments, markers and memorials prior to and after installation.

Markers or monuments being removed for added inscription must follow the same rule applicable to new memorials; and in addition must be inspected before they are taken from the cemetery. In every instance written permission for the removal must be obtained from the owner.

When an inspection is added, the monument or marker must be cleaned.


The Service Director will grant exceptions to these rules only. All applications for an exception must be in writing, stating the reason, and persons involved.

The Service Director's answer will be given by mail and a copy will be kept on record at the cemetery office.

Traffic Regulations

The admission of vehicles upon the roads of the cemetery has been permitted as a privilege, but is not a right inherent to the ownership of a lot or otherwise. As a privilege, it is restricted to those persons who observe the traffic rules adopted by the Lorain City Council. Failure to comply with the rules renders the offender liable to arrest. Entrance may be only at an entrance that is maintained by the cemetery as a public entrance. The speed of vehicles is limited to ten (10) miles per hour. Vehicles are not permitted to turn upon roads, but must go around the section when reversing their direction.

Visitors on foot have the primary right to the use of the roads and all vehicle drivers are required to observe this right by careful driving and strict adherence to the rules. Funeral processions must obey these rules also.

Any driver who operates a vehicle upon the lawns, across gutters or elsewhere, causing damage as a result, shall be required to compensate the City of Lorain for such damage. Vehicles shall keep to the right-hand side of the road next to the gutter or lawn.

General Rules

Visitors are admitted to the cemetery at the discretion of the City of Lorain or the supervisor.

The City of Lorain disclaims any responsibility or liability for accident(s) or damage(s) to markers, vases, mausoleums or vaults resulting from the ordinary hazards of cemetery work. The City does not assume liability for accident(s) or damage(s) to property due to the defects of machinery, implements, tools and equipment used in its works. The City endeavors to maintain adequate police protection for the cemetery and reasonable efforts are made to protect flowers, vases and wreaths placed upon graves.

No fences or walls within the cemetery made of any type of material shall be permitted. Hedges, trellises, posts, chains, railings, steps, boxing, borders used for the purpose of enclosure, are prohibited. Nothing such as statues, boxes, baskets, shells, toys, crockery, wire arches, watering pots, glassware or other such objects may be placed upon any grave or lot. No advertisement of any kind shall be permitted within the cemetery. No person shall discharge firearms within the cemetery, except at military funerals or Memorial Day exercises.

No person with firearms, refreshments or liquors shall be permitted to enter the cemetery. Pets are not permitted on the cemetery grounds or in any building(s). The use of roads and paths in the cemetery as thoroughfares, either in vehicles or on foot, is prohibited. Violators of this rule shall be considered as trespassers.

All persons are forbidden under penalty of law, to kill, trap or wound any bird or animal within the limits of the cemetery or to remove the young of animals or the eggs of any bird. All persons are prohibited from picking any plants or flowers, either wild or cultivated, disturbing waterfowl or other birds, breaking or injuring any tree or shrub. It is strictly prohibited for anyone to mar any marker or landmark, or in any way deface the ground of the cemetery. No driving is allowed over the lots or upon the lawns.

School children, under the supervision of a teacher, art students, botanists, students of forestry, ornithologists or others who may benefit from the study of works or art and nature will be welcome at the cemetery. Visitors for such purposes are requested to make arrangements for visitation by contacting the cemetery supervisor.

It is forbidden, under penalty of law, to deposit within the cemetery grounds debris, rubbish or waste material of any nature. The supervisor may expel from the cemetery any person disturbing its sanctity by noisy, boisterous or other improper conduct, or who violates any of the foregoing rules. The rules and regulations governing the cemetery shall be strictly enforced. Trespassing upon the grounds of the cemetery is prohibited. All person(s) are reminded that the grounds are sacredly devoted to the burial of the human dead.

Miscellaneous Rules

No money shall be paid to the cemetery employees and their services must not be engaged except through the office of the Service Director.

The cemetery supervisor has been given the authority to enforce all rules and regulations herein contained.