The Town of Petersham takes great pride in the existence and operation of its fine cemeteries.  The respect and care shown past citizens of this community is a symbol of appreciation offered by the Town of Petersham for those who have lived here and have contributed to the vitality and health of this community.  The following rules and regulations have been developed to better protect the lot owners and the Cemeteries themselves, allowing for the best maintenance possible of the grounds and the individual plots.

 The Cemeteries in Petersham are the responsibility of the Cemetery Commissioners, who have been appointed by the Board of Selectmen.  The Commissioners along with the Cemetery Sexton and contracted employees have dedicated their work to operating cemeteries that are useable and of the highest quality. 


 East Street Cemetery

The Indian Cemetery

West Road Cemetery

Center Cemetery (Village)

North Cemetery (Mann)

Ledgeville Cemetery (Second East or Gates)

Coolidge/Goddard (Hardwick Road)

Nichewaug Cemetery (Second South)

Flatrock Road (Northwest)

Poor Farm Burial Plot

Maple Lane Family (Howe) Plot (Private)


Petersham Cemetery Commission
PO Box 486
Petersham, MA  01366

Office Hours:  Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month @ 7:00 PM
Sexton: Robin Koenig / 978-724-3353

Cemetery Commission Members:
Lynn Shaw Chair
Ken Levine,
Glenede Albertine, Clerk (
Deb Bachrach
Ann Townsend

Sheila Youd


The Petersham Selectboard on 9/8/2014 voted unanimously to accept & approve the requested revised weekend and holiday burial rates effective immediately.  The holidays included for these rates are those observed by the Town of Petersham and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Rates for weekday burials remain unchanged.

April 1 to November 30 weekday burials:
Full Burial $350
Cremation Burial $125

April 1 to November 30 weekend and holiday burials:
Full Burial $450
Cremation Burial $225

December 1 to March 31 winter weekday burials:
Full Burial:  $450
Cremation Burial: $225

December 1 to March 31 winter weekend and holiday burials: 
Full Burial $550
Cremation Burial $325


 The Town Cemeteries are open at all times.  Please use the cemetery for reasons related to the functions of the cemetery such as lot care, mourning and visitation.

 Cemeteries in the Town of Petersham are established for the proper burial of the human dead.  Respect for those buried and attention to keeping the cemetery neat and orderly shall be maintained at all times.  Particular attention should be given to the upkeep of lots, burial stones and adorning flowers and shrubbery.  The Commission may remove flowers, shrubbery or other items it determines are inappropriate or unsafe.

 When in the cemetery vehicles should be parked so other motor vehicles can pass conveniently and safely

 Please do not use the cemeteries as thruways for vehicles, horses and pedestrians.

 Rubbish, trash or discarded pots should be removed from the cemetery by the mourner/visitor and disposed of appropriately elsewhere..

 All fees and charges for services are payable to the Town of Petersham. 

Monuments shall be tasteful and consistent with the history of the cemetery.  Stones should be kept in a row. In all cases monuments and other memorial items shall be constructed to promote safety as well as memorialization. Lot owners or families of the deceased have the responsibility for monument repair. 

 The Cemetery Commission reserves the right to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications of these Rules and Regulations without notice when in the judgement of the Cemetery Commission such actions are necessary.  


 Persons desiring to purchase a lot, or lots, should contact the Sexton, the Cemetery Maintenance Contractor, or a Cemetery Commissioner and schedule an appointment to visit the Cemetery.  One of these individuals will assist them with a selection and issue the appropriate documents describing the lot and purchase.  Names and phone numbers are posted at the Town Bulletin Board in the Town Office Building.

Lots are 4 feet by 8 feet in dimension.  Either single lots or multiple lots are available.  Lots will be sold for cash, money order or a check.  Lots each cost $100.  Perpetual care for each lot is required and costs $300 as a one-time payment for residents of the Town of Petersham.  Since real estate tax revenues supplement this charge and present and past residents have provided these revenues, individuals with no connection to the Town, who wish to be buried in a Town cemetery, will be charged a one-time $600 fee for perpetual care. 

 At the time of purchase, any person who does not have a resident street address within the 01366 zipcode will be charged the non-resident total fee of $700 ($100 for the lot and $600 for perpetual care). The buyer may subsequently appeal the charges and obtain a refund of $300 of the perpetual care charge, consistent with the charge of $300 to residents if the Cemetery Commission determines the circumstances warrant it.

Resale of lots: No selling of a lot to a third party is allowed.  Should a lot owner wish to dispose of a lot this can be done by selling the lot back to the Town for its purchase price.  The Town may then sell the lot to a recommended third party if requested by the party returning the lot.  Such action will assure that Commission records remain accurate.  Payments related to perpetual care are not reimbursable by the Town.

 Deeds will be provided to purchasers of lots.  The Commission can provide deed replacement for a fee.

 The Cemetery reserves the right to:

·         Enlarge, reduce, or change the boundaries or grading of the Cemetery, or a section or sections, including the right to modify or change the locations or remove or regrade roads, walkways, or any part thereof.

·         Use Cemetery property not sold to individual lot owners for anything necessary, convenient, or incidental to the care of the Cemeteries.


 The general care of the cemeteries is assumed by the Cemetery Commission and includes perpetual care, such as cutting of the grass at reasonable intervals and the raking and cleaning of the grounds.

This general care shall in no case mean the maintenance, repair or replacement of any memorial, tomb, or mausoleum placed or erected upon plots, nor performing any special or unusual work in the Cemetery.  Additionally excluded is the reconstruction of any marble or granite work on any section or lot, or any portion or portions thereof in the Cemetery damaged by the elements, acts of God, thieves, vandals, explosions, and unavoidable accidents.

 No fence, railing, hedge, trees or shrubs to describe its corners or boundaries shall define a lot or grave.. To enhance the beauty of the grounds, no mound or raised graves will be permitted in any part of the Cemeteries. The Cemetery Commission reserves the right to remove any inappropriately constructed or maintained fence.

 Plantings need to be maintained within the plot or lot boundaries.

 The Cemetery Commission reserves the right to remove any trees/shrubs, which are not kept trimmed or plantings not planted in accordance with these rules. All material on cemetery property, such as loam, sand, mulch, will be used for Cemetery upkeep.

 The Cemetery Commission shall not be responsible for any kind of plantings damaged by vandals, thieves, or other elements beyond its control.  The Cemetery Commission shall have the further authority to remove all floral designs, flowers, weeds, trees, shrubs, plants or herbage of any kind from the Cemetery as soon as they become unsightly, dangerous, detrimental, or diseased. 


 Please contact the Sexton, staff to the Cemetery Commission, or a commission member with information about an imminent interment including the name of the deceased, age, lot number, grave to be used, lot owner, name of mortuary and the date and time of the planned interment.  Also please indicate whether the interment is a cremation interment or a casket interment.  No more than four cremation interments are allowed per lot.

 The Cemetery Commission charges $225 for a coffin internment ($250 in winter) and $50 for a cremation internment ($75 in winter). 


 The proper papers prescribed by law must accompany a removal from another cemetery, which is to be buried in a Petersham Cemetery. 

 No removal or disinterment will be allowed from any lot, without a permit from the owners thereof or their representative and the nearest relative of the body interred.  These materials will be presented to the Cemetery Commission, which will then make a decision on disinterment.


 One monument will be permitted on a single grave.  Only one flush in-ground marker per grave is allowed. Only one (1) individual marker is allowed per lot, no matter how many cremation interments are in the lot.


 The Cemetery Commission may make modifications to these Rules and Regulations from time to time as needed.

Adopted May 21, 2003