Cobourg Union Cemetery was started in 1867 as a non denominational, non profit cemetery. In the late 1800’s most communities started similar cemeteries to stop the unhygienic practice of burying bodies downtown in church yards. These were started by volunteers as civic projects.
In 1871 they planted 200 spruce trees along the drives. The original cemetery was only half the size of what it currently is with the front portion a swamp and Pratt’s Pond at the back. The Cobourg Peterborough Railway was on the bank to the east which is now part of the cemetery.
Still now, any monies received are employed solely for administration and benefit of the cemetery under the charge of the Cobourg Union Cemetery Board. There is no municipal affiliation and therefore no tax income from the Town.
About Us, Continued...
At the start relatives were responsible for looking after their own graves and it was a weekend tradition to hike out to the cemetery, picnic by Pratt’s pond, and do any cutting and trimming of the graves.
As people became busier and this practice waned plus the cemetery became busier with more deaths and more complicated maintenance of sink holes, etc., it was necessary to hire staff to maintain the grounds. People were asked to pay an annual fee to look after the cemetery.
In 1942 the cemetery instituted its Perpetual Care Plan. Instead of annual fees people made a one time deposit into this fund. The money was put into a trust fund which in theory was to provide funds to keep the grounds safe and the grass cut.
In 2012 the government legislated law to have cemeteries deposit 40 % of all lot sales into the Care and Maintenance Fund which replaced the Perpetual Care Plans. Later they added a fee also be deposited into the trust fund for any monument or marker installed.
Though there is a trust fund in place the revenue from it does not come close to covering the expenses of running the cemetery so it relies on the sales and burials for revenue. The watering programs helps with hiring summer students.
Any bequests are most welcome.
The cemetery currently has 4500 lots and 10,000 burials.
A complete record is kept of all interments and sales in hard copy for easy look up and electronic for preservation.
The cemetery is continually doing new plantings with some hardwoods to avoid monoculture though it will keep the ambiance of the spruce ringing the drives.
The cemetery endeavors to offer the public a variety and some new means of burial and memorialization. New sections and offerings are opened as needed.
From the East
Exit Highway 401 at exit 474 (Division street)
Go south to third lights and turn right onto Elgin.
Cemetery is a quarter kilometer on your right (north side).
From the West
Exit Highway 401 at exit 472 (Burnham street).
Go south to second lights and turn left onto Elgin.
Cemetery is a half kilometer on your left (north side)
Bequests are most welcome since the Cemetery is non-profit run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Cemetery does not enjoy any municipal assistance. We rely solely on the sale of lots and services and bequests.