By Memorial Day, May 26, Woodlawn Cemetery will have a new section featuring columbariums, granite structures to hold urns to inter cremated remains.
The columbariums will be in the historical section of the cemetery.
"The number of cremations has been growing steadily," Jamie Ebert, cemetery sexton, said. "It is definitely what is coming."
Ebert said the cemetery has enough room for regular burials for about another 75 years, but the columbarians may help extend that time frame.
The project first phase will be two columbariums made of Georgia Blue granite that will have a total of 172 niches. Each niche will hold two urns.
Kevin Hipp, of Franklin Monument, helped design the project and is charge of construction. He explained that once ashes are interred, a 12" by 12" inscribed granite front will be installed with a safety feature to keep it in place.
He said Woodlawn has seen a steady increase in the number of cremations, which reflects a national trend.
"As the general population of the United States is taking cremation more seriously, the cemetery is making this an option," Hipp said. "Not everyone wants to scatter the ashes."
"They want a final resting place and a place to memorialize a person, but they want cremation," said April Hipp, also of Franklin Monument. She added it would also be a way for people to create a memorial for ashes of relatives that had been passed down over generations.
Kevin Hipp said Ebert has been working on the project for about two years.
"This is a whole new concept for Huron County," Hipp said, as a non-denominational columbarium.
Phase II of the project will be another granite structure between the first two to form an arc. Hipp said it will be added when space starts to fill in the first two structures.
The area will have room for traditional cemetery services after funerals. Hipp said it will also feature stamped concrete walkways, benches and landscaping.
"It will be a great place to come and remember," he said, because it will allow cremations to include the traditional elements of regular burial.