, Newburyport, MA


November 5, 2013

Cemetery is private property, not open to all

To the editor:

I am writing to you today to ask you to publish this letter about what appears to be the common misconception that a cemetery is open to the public, as most are not.

The rules of South Byfield Cemetery state that: “No persons except the owners of the lots, with their families or strangers accompanied by the owners of the lots or family shall be admitted into the cemetery in vehicles, and none shall be permitted to drive faster than a walk.”

And all visitors are requested to keep in mind that the cemetery is consecrated to the memory of those who lay buried there. Dignified behavior is expected and required.

Experience has shown it is necessary to adopt and enforce rules and regulations governing the conduct of visitors and lot owners to ensure respect for the dead and for the protection of the grounds and the safety of all legal visitors.

This means if you don’t own a grave site in our cemetery, then you are not allowed to enter, unless you are accompanied by an owner or you are a direct family member of a person buried there.

And it especially means it is not OK to walk your dog on the driveways or walkways in our cemetery. There are miles of streets and many parks in our town for you to walk your dog.

In the near future we will be posting our cemetery: “No Dogs Allowed.” And once posted the police department will be notified that no one is allowed to walk a dog or dogs in our cemetery. Please respect our rules.

We consider our cemetery as private property and you should walk your dog some place else.

Priscilla Edmonds, President

Jim Rogers, Linda Allen, directors

South Byfield Cemetery

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