Ann Arbor's oldest cemeteries
On February 22, 2009, Clan Crawford, Jr. wrote:
The item about the pioneer cemetery brings back memories going back to about 1953. At that time the cemetery was part of a large tract of unused farmland. The owner wanted to build houses on it. The property was not yet in the city so he persuaded Pittsfield Twp. officials to petition the circuit court for a judgment vacating the cemetery. Such a petition was allowed by a statute covering abandonment and prescribing the moving of the graves. Township attorney Arthur Lehman appeared at the hearing with a plan for the abandonment and was greatly surprised to find that there was opposition. In walked prominent local attorney and U-M regent Roscoe O. Bonisteel, followed by a young lawyer employed in his office, me, and about 25 women, members of the Sarah Caswell Angell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their story was that along about 1900, when the cemetery was in a state of neglect, the farmer that owned it piled up the headstones in a corner and tilled the land.