History of

Bethlehem Cemetery

Established in 1833




One acre of land for this cemetery was deeded to Bethlehem Church in 1833 by Daniel Allmendinger, a prominent church member. The first burial took place in 1834 and was that of a toddler. The church and the cemetery shared land on the outskirts of Ann Arbor along Jackson Road, where both were accessible to farmers in outlying areas of Washtenaw County. As time passed, the church building moved to downtown Ann Arbor. Stones from the original church foundation can still be found on the site. The cemetery added more land over the years until today it comprises about fifty acres of land with over 8060 burials. Thousands of spaces are still available for burial. 



A cemetery is a spatially defined area where the remains of deceased people are buried or otherwise interred. The term “cemetery” (from the Greek word meaning "sleeping place") implies that the area designated as a cemetery is specifically for a burial ground. The intact or cremated remains of deceased persons may be interred in a grave commonly referred to as burial, or may be interred in an above-ground grave such as a mausoleum, columbarium, or other edifice. In Western cultures, funeral ceremonies are often observed in cemeteries. These ceremonies or rites of passage differ according to cultural practices and religious beliefs as well as state laws. In Michigan an individual burial site in a cemetery is not a parcel of land owned by the family; rather, it is a right to be buried in that portion of the cemetery designated by the certificate that is issued.