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Rural Hill History

View of Rural Hill Cemetery Rural Hill Cemetery is located on West Seven Mile Road east of Rogers in Northville. Ira Rice claimed the southwest corner of the cemetery property in 1826 by a land patent issued by President John Quincy Adams in October of that year. The land was sold to Hiram Robinson in July of 1830. He subsequently died and left the land to William H. Robinson. The property went through several owners after that. Eventually the land the cemetery sits on was originally part of the farm of M.D. Gorton who was one of organizers of the cemetery.

Rural Hill headstoneThe Rural Hill Cemetery Association was formed on December 17, 1885 and it purchased the land from Major Gorton and his wife for $1286.25. The first board of directors included F.R. Beal, J.M. Swift, C.M. Thornton, M.A. Porter, M.D. Gorton, L.W. Simmons, L.W. Hutton, A. D. Kendrick and F.W. Clark. Their names all appear on cemetery memorials in Rural Hill. The organization was established as a non-profit civic enterprise with each member paying $125.00.

The first lots in the cemetery were sold for $15.00 to $40.00 each. On July 8, 1908 the association was reorganized and the corporation was chartered for an additional 30 years. Over the years the association found upkeep and record keeping difficult so on May 25, 1948 they sold the cemetery to the Village of Northville for one dollar. No burial records were found for burials made prior to the 1930’s. Former Senator Robert Geake and former Northville Editor Jack Hoffman worked to re-create records from the marked graves in the cemetery and completed their project in 1977.

Today the cemetery records and sales are maintained and handled by the City of Northville and the grounds are maintained by the Department of Public Works.