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Main Street, looking East

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View North from Town Hall tower

View North from Town Hall tower

Department of Public Works

Oak Ridge Cemetery

The historical portion of Oak Ridge Cemetery is located beyond the granite arches on the south side of lower Main Street. The remainder of the Cemetery is located at the end of Oak Ridge Avenue, off Everett Street.

A limited number of gravesites are still available to Southbridge Residents. Burials are held every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Memorial Day. You may reach us at the Operations Office at 508-764-5433 or at the Administration Office at 508-764-5403. We will be glad to make an appointment for you to visit a particular location at a mutually convenient time.

POLICY STATEMENT
August 15, 1979
Revised May 13, 2004
Revised April 4, 2007
Revised January 1, 2008

Oak Ridge Cemetery is a Town owned cemetery established to provide a suitable place for the internment of present or former Southbridge citizens or members of their immediate family.

GENERAL

This policy is made under Chapter 6, Section 3, Paragraph 1, of the Southbridge Home Rule Charter and represents a compilation of present practices and procedures. In most cases, these practices and procedures have been adopted in some form by the former Oak Ridge Cemetery Commissioners.

Future changes to this policy made by the Department of Public Works will be dated and attached as an amendment.

Lots are conveyed by special deed for burial purposes only.

Rights to ownership of any lot purchased at Oak Ridge Cemetery shall be subject to the "Deed of Right of Burial" and Chapter 114, Sections 28 to 33 inclusive, of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Only residents of the Town of Southbridge may purchase a lot or lots in this cemetery, the only exception being that father or mother who are nonresidents may have purchased for them by said residents, a lot consisting of not more than two graves. Approval by the Director of Public Works is necessary in the latter case.

The use of the cemetery as a thoroughfare is prohibited. Business vehicles must not enter the cemetery except by permission of the Director of Public Works, or his designated representative.

Lots located in the "Pine Lot" section are sold as shown on the cemetery location map. These lots will not be subdivided and sold as single, double or other multiple grave sites.

BURIAL

A lot may be used as a place of burial for the human dead and for no other reason or purpose.

Two casketed internments in one grave is prohibited, except in the case of an infant child with an adult, or two children under five years of age. Internment of up to three cremated remains may be buried in any lot. If the grave is already occupied the cremated remains are placed on the vault.

An approved concrete liner shall be placed into the open grave prior to any casketed internment.

All requests for burials shall be made during normal business hours of the Public Works Department a minimum of one full business day prior to the internment.

All funerals while within the grounds shall be subject to directions of the Director of Public Works or authorized representatives. When instructions regarding the location of a grave or a lot cannot be obtained or are indefinite, or for any other reason the grave cannot be opened where specified, the Director of Public Works, or his designated representative may, at their discretion, open it in such a location on the lot as he deems best and proper, so that the funeral may not be delayed.

All internments in private lots shall be restricted to members of the family and relatives of the proprietor thereof unless by prior assignment by the proprietor or by permission of the Director of Public Works.

In the event of a pauper burial, certification that the deceased and heirs have no means of meeting the financial requirements of Oak Ridge Cemetery and other nominal funeral arrangements shall be obtained from the Department of Public Welfare, by the funeral Director and furnished to the Director of Public Works prior to internment. The fee for the grave and perpetual care will be borne by the Town of Southbridge. No markers will be placed on unpaid pauper lots.

No grave shall be opened by any workman, other than those employed by or under the direction of the Director of Public Works, or authorized representative.

No burials will be allowed on Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, regardless of the day of the week these holidays should occur.

If, for any reason, internment has to be deferred, the receiving vault may be used as a temporary place of burial. The length of time deferment to be permitted will be determined by the Director of Public Works.

REMOVALS

No disinternment or removal of a body will be allowed without a written order from the owner or owners of the lot, or their duly authorized representative, and with the approval of the Director of Public Works, and any provisions under Chapter 114 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

DECORATIONS

The Cemetery, through the Director of Public Works, reserves to itself, the entire control of every tree, shrub, vine or plant growing within its boundaries, whether planted by lot owners or otherwise, including the right of removal without notice, when it considers such removal advisable and necessary. The Director of Public Works or his designated representative may remove from the lots items objectionable or injurious to the uses and purposes of the Cemetery or contrary to its rules and regulations.

Lot owners shall have the privilege of planting shrubs to the extent of two (2) shrubs per lot (minimum size lot being four (4) graves).

Any flower bed shall not exceed the length of the monument nor one foot in width.

Lot owners shall be responsible for maintaining plantings in a condition acceptable to the Director of Public Works.

Semi permanent decorations, including flowers, will be permitted on or longitudinally adjacent to the marker. Flower displays, which are a part of the internment service, are allowed.

The Cemetery will not be responsible for anything placed or left on the lots by the owners.

Summer decorations shall be allowed between May 10th and October 1st.

Winter decorations shall be allowed between November 15th and April 1st.

MONUMENTS

A sketch or blueprint may be required for any monument or other memorial brought into the Cemetery, showing the design, material, finish, size and proposed inscription. The Director of Public Works reserves the right to reject any plan, design or memorial which on account of size, design, inscription finish, or quality of stone, is unsuited to the lot on which it is to be placed.

All die stones shall be finished at least on front and back.

Only one central or family memorial is allowed on a family plot. To avoid the crowding of memorials, the size of a monument is restricted to be in proper proportion with the lot in accordance with the following:

  • 1. On four grave lots, the maximum length is four feet; on six grave lots, the maximum length is four and one-half feet; on eight or more grave lots, the maximum length allowed is five feet.
  • 2. Maximum overall height of monument above ground level shall not exceed 42".
  • 3. Thickness of monument base is not to exceed 16".
  • 4. Thickness of monument is not to exceed 10".

No family memorial will be allowed above grade line on one, two, or three grave lots.

All memorials and markers are to be constructed of natural or quarried stone. No artificial stone of any description is permitted.

Markers shall be flush with grade, of one piece only, and shall not exceed two feet in length and one foot in width. Raised letters in excess of 1/8" are not allowed. The bottom bed of all bases and markers must be cut level and true.

FEES:

  • Lot Purchase: $500.00
  • Perpetual Care per lot: $100.00
  • Burials (Base Fee):
    • Weekday Full Interment: $550.00
    • Weekday Cremation Burial: $300.00
  • Additional Burial Fees
    • Weekend Burial: $200.00
    • Winter Burial (1): $300.00
    • Winter Cremation Burial (1): $100.00
    • Holiday Burial (2): $200.00
  • Exhumation: $1,100.00
  • Foundation Fee: $50.00/SF
  • Flat Marker Set (3): $20.00

Notes:

1 - Any burial occurring November 1st to March 31st
2 - Any holiday as listed in the DPW Union contract with the exception of Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas as no burials are allowed on these holidays.
3 - All Veteran's markers set at no cost.



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