Mainstreams: Cremation impacts cemetery bottom line

13 Aug 2019

Stewards of Elk River’s Vernon Cemetery worry about the future, as the revenue stream lags

Since the 1850s, people have been laid to rest in Elk River’s Vernon Cemetery, where stately trees stand watch over the graves of Civil War veterans, early Elk River leaders and modern-day citizens alike.

But now, its current stewards worry about the future.

“We promised the folks that are buried there that we would take care of it in perpetuity and, unless things change, we won’t be able to fulfill that promise,” said Bob Nickerson, the cemetery’s president who has many ancestors buried there. “That’s our fear, that someday we might have to say, ‘We can’t do this anymore’ and somebody is going to have to take over. I’m sure the city is not interested in buying a cemetery. So, then, who takes care of it?”

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