Town of Amherst NH

Cemeteries

The Department of Public Works maintains five cemeteries in the Town of Amherst. Three cemeteries are active and two are inactive. They are overseen by the Sexton and three Cemetery Trustees.

  • Active Cemeteries:
    • Meadowview Cemetery, Foundry Street
    • Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Chestnut Hill Road
    • Cricket Corner Cemetery, Boston Post and Corduroy Roads
  • Inactive Cemeteries:
    • Cemetery behind the Town Hall, (believed to be the oldest public burial ground in the State)
    • Pauper Cemetery, Ponemah Road

Cemetery Rules and Regulations

These rules are established in accordance with New Hampshire RSA 289 Cemeteries/Burials.

RULES

Hours of internments are 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Saturday.  Internments will not be made on Sunday or holidays. Internments will not be made from December 1 thru April 15 or at the discretion of the Sexton based on weather and ground conditions.

1.  Cremated Remains – Each grave will support one full burial plus three vaulted cremated remains – Or six vaulted cremated remains.

 2.  Horses, dogs, recreational bicycles, motor driven dirt bikes, and off road vehicles are prohibited in the cemeteries.  No vehicles, except maintenance or other commercial vehicles involved in gravesite preparation or restoration shall be driven on any part of the cemeteries except upon avenues.

 3.  Any person intoxicated, disorderly or disturbing the quiet and good order shall be asked to leave the cemetery.  If said person does not leave, the Amherst Police shall be summoned.

4.  Firearms shall not be discharged in cemeteries, except for salutes at military funerals or during town sponsored parades.

5.  Children under the age of 15 are not permitted in the Cemetery unless accompanied by an adult.

6.  Gravestone rubbing is prohibited

 7.  Public Works Director is the Sexton of the cemeteries.  If unavailable, he may designate a person to act in his place.  The Sexton is responsible for sale of all burial lots, recording of all deeds and maintenance of records, scheduling manpower and equipment for burials, care and maintenance of grounds, surveying and recording new lots and avenues and enforcing of these rules

SALE OF LOTS

1.   A cemetery lot is defined as a four-grave site, a 3-grave site, a 2-grave site or a single grave. The sale of cemetery lots can only be sold to an Amherst resident, a former resident who had lived in Amherst for 10 years.  Cemetery lots will also be sold to municipal employees with 10 years of service.  Exceptions to this rule will need the approval of 2 out of 3 trustees.

2.   The sale of cemetery lots will be made as defined above.  Payment for a grave site is due within 30 days from the date of billing.  If payment is not received the lot will go back into available space.

 3.   The prices of cemetery lots are as follows: A single grave lot – $500; two grave lots – $1000; three grave lots – $1500 and four grave lot $2000.  General cemetery maintenance is included in the price of the lot. General cemetery maintenance includes raking, mowing, seeding, fertilizing when necessary as well as  maintenance and/or repairs to monuments .The sale of lots does not include burial vaults, corner markers or opening fees.  Payment for lots will be made to the Town of Amherst when billing is received from the Amherst Department of Public Works.  Upon receipt of payment, the deed will be sent directly to the owner.  When purchasing a cemetery lot the purchaser shall pay for a corner marker which will be engraved with the lot number and the initial of the owner’s last name.  The cost of the marker is $50 and this is paid directly to Medlyn Monument of Milford, N.H.  All internments shall be enclosed in a sealed cement vault, including cremations.

4.   The Sexton requires a minimum of twenty-four hours notice to schedule the manpower and Town equipment necessary to open the grave in time for the burial.  The funeral director shall supply such notice.  Funeral directors must present all burial documents upon arrival in the cemetery.  The funeral director shall provide artificial grass, lowering devices and any other materials or equipment associated with the burial ceremony

5.   Purchase and installation of monuments and markers are the responsibility of the lot owner. No monuments or headstone may be placed in the cemetery without a suitable concrete foundation constructed by the monument company.  Single grave lots – ground level markers (l’x 2’6” maximum size).  No above ground monuments are permitted.  On two, three and four grave lots one above ground headstone is permitted, not to exceed 36” in height from the grade to the top of the die, 3 feet by one foot at the base and a 2 foot wide die.

6.   One stone bench, 18” high x 36” long x 24” wide will be permitted in lieu of a headstone.  The bench must meet the same placement requirements of a headstone i.e. centered on the lot.

7.   Planting of trees and shrubs is prohibited.  The Cemetery will do all plantings.  Flowers are permitted.  However, they must be removed after a reasonable time. Shrubs and trees which were planted in the cemeteries prior to December 7, 2001 will be left.  However on December 7, 2001 the Cemetery Trustees voted that beginning with the Spring of 2002 graves that had permanent plantings that either hinder maintenance or the aesthetics of the cemetery would be drastically trimmed or removed.  If any shrub or tree situated in said lot of land shall by means of its roots or branches become detrimental to said lot, or to the adjacent lots, avenues, or paths or dangerous or inconvenient, it shall be the duty of the Trustees and they shall have the right to enter the said lot and remove the said tree or shrub, or such parts thereof as are thus detrimental, dangerous or inconvenient. The cemetery is not liable for damages to plants and trees that are not planted according to these rules.

8.   Memorial Trees – The Trustees will plant memorial trees.  A tree may be purchased in memory of a loved one. 

9.   On graves with a flat or flush granite marker, only removable pots will be permitted.

10.  No decorative landscaping stones, fencing, curbs.  It is not permissible to place fences or curbs on any lot.   Temporary decorative memorabilia must be removed within thirty (30) days – no permanent decorative objects are permitted.   The cemetery has the right to remove non-conforming items from any lot after an attempt has been made to contact the lot owner to remove said item. 

11. The placement of flags on veterans’ graves will be done from Memorial Day to Veteran’s Day and then removed. 

12. The Director of Public Works shall keep and maintain all cemetery records in the Public Works Department Office at 22 Dodge Road, Amherst.  Such records are limited to those which will enable the town to locate by name and date every interment or removal and the exact location within each lot.

13. The Director of Public Works has the responsibility for care of the cemeteries and is empowered and authorized to enforce these rules.  The Cemetery Board of Trustees has the sole authority to grant exceptions to any of the preceding rules.

Amended by Cemetery Trustees
January 25, 2007
Revised October 30, 2008
Revised January 12, 2010

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