Dedicated in 1851, Erie Cemetery got its roots from the voice of local citizens in search of “providing a spot suitable and large enough to answer the purposes of a burying place for all.” The campaign for this burial site was in part due to the rapid growth of the rural cemetery movement.
Over the years, the 75 acre property known as Erie Cemetery has seen a great deal of development including the creation of a proper iron gateway entrance in 1867. Other improvements have included the extension of iron fencing, walkways, and new foliage making Erie Cemetery more than just a pleasant place to visit — it has become a visual and recreational asset for the entire community.
By 1928, it was recommended to the managers of Erie Cemetery that more space would eventually be needed. In search of more than 100 acres of land that could be used for development, managers eventually purchased Wintergreen Gulch Farm, known today as Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery.
With its beautiful greenery, natural waterways and winding paths, the property located just east of Erie was the perfect choice. It didn’t take long to pique public interest in the new cemetery as just hours after being dedicated in 1932, thousands of people toured the grounds. Today, many people still find serenity in visiting the tranquil grounds of Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery.
With the rapid growth of Erie’s south and west suburbs following World War II, the need for future burial space was again brought to light to those managing Erie and Wintergreen Gorge Cemeteries. Fortunately, this projection coincided with the availability of an existing west side cemetery — Laurel Hill.
Laurel Hill had been founded in 1928 on land had been in the Love family for generations, and was still being farmed. Named for a strand of laurel trees lining the property, Laurel Hill Cemetery eventually grew from 36 acres to more than 125 acres.
Today, each of these cemeteries is maintained by the Erie Cemetery Association with grounds that reflect a devoted attention to quality care. With perpetual care and continual improvements made to the grounds of all three properties, the goal remains the same — maintain the natural beauty of each while providing a resting place where simplicity reigns.