Glen Arbor cemetery holds memorial ceremony, library presentation


From staff reports

The fourth annual Glen Arbor Cemetery Memorial Ceremony, commemorating the nearly lost site, will be held at 10 am on Friday, May 26. John Sawyer of Traverse City will deliver a eulogy detailing the life of one of the four Civil War veterans buried at the cemetery, James Lawrence Green.

Green is one of 38 unmarked graves of 51 total confirmed so far to be buried there. No township records exist. All of this documentation has been dug up by historian Andrew White over the past four years.

Last week, ground penetrating radar revealed an additional mass grave of more than 50 bodies buried at the cemetery sometime between the late 1800s and early 1900s. This cemetery in the woods off Forest Haven Road, west of downtown Glen Arbor, was nearly lost to history before Glen Arbor Township regained control over it from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore after the big storm of August 2015.

On Sunday, May 21, Linda Alice Dewey, chair of the cemetery advisory board, and occasional contributor to the Glen Arbor Sun, gave us a walking tour of the township cemetery. Watch the video below.

Members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will also appear at the ceremony in period dress; Norm Wheeler will play “Taps” on his bugle; Anne-Marie Oomen will recite a poem inspired by her first ceremony at the cemetery; and history department head Melissa Okerlund will read the list of all people known to be buried here while members of this year’s Glen Lake eighth grade class each claim the individual they studied for this local history unit.

The cemetery was surveyed in mid-May by ground penetrating radar in an effort to locate the unmarked graves, the latest step in this continuing restoration project.

The walking trail to the cemetery is located on Forest Haven Drive, 0.4 miles south of M-109.


Glen Lake Library hosts May 24 cemetery presentation

On Wednesday, May 24, the Glen Lake Community Library in Empire will host a presentation about the history of the Glen Arbor Township Cemetery, which served the Glen Lake area from 1880-1927, and the renewed effort to reclaim this long-neglected resting place.

Linda Alice Dewey, chair of the Glen Arbor Township Cemetery Advisory Board, will describe the discoveries gleaned from this ongoing journey and the latest developments, including the use of ground penetrating radar to locate unmarked graves. She’ll also share profiles of the people buried there, and discuss the ongoing assistance of Glen Lake School students in this initiative. Her presentation will take place at 7 pm in the library’s program room. For more information, contact the library at 231-326-5361 or visit