Mouth Cemetery, Muskegon County: Michigan’s Hidden Historical Site
DISCLAIMER: There are some properties nearby that may look abandoned but they are privately owned and not to be trespassed on. The cemetery is public but be respectful of the structures you may see.
The oldest known cemetery in Muskegon County is believed to be Mouth Cemetery. When it actually was created is anybody's guess – but it was sometime between the mid-1830s and 1850.
The first burial? No one knows when that was. Records from 1848-1859 are missing – some say they were possibly destroyed intentionally, because financial records had become embarrassing impossible (some illegal, maybe?) and proof of various burials had also been destroyed. There are approximately 300 graves in Mouth Cemetery, with about half of them from the 1800s.
In the mid-1800s a ship was coming across Lake Michigan carrying passengers that had been plagued by an unknown epidemic. 39 people died, most of which were buried here. Unfortunately, many of those graves are lost, as they were marked with wooden crosses that have since rotted and deteriorated by the elements. The oldest grave that has been found dates back to 1851, belonging to 29-year-old Sarah Jane Beatrice.
A post office popped up in 1854 and the neighboring communities became successful lumber towns, eventually becoming villages like White Hall and Montague.
In 1987, a new iron fence was erected by a special committee...but that wasn't enough to keep out vandals. The grounds became neglected and overgrown making it look abandoned, which seemed like a welcome mat for trouble-makers.
The cemetery is located somewhat northwest of Michigan's Adventure Park at the end of Sadony Road in White River Township; in 1989 it was given its own Historical Marker and is now listed on the State Register of Historic Sites.
It's just one of seemingly thousands of Michigan places that has its share of tales and legends...and it's a Michigan Historical Site. As always, if you do pay a visit, be respectful and don't ruin other people's experiences by vandalizing or littering.
Mouth Cemetery, Muskegon County
MORE MICHIGAN CEMETERIES: