Potter Cemetery/Public Act 525 of 2012

Registered Site S0747

Potter Cemetery

In 1847 Ash and Berlin Township people began to be buried in this cemetery, located on the property line between Royal and Mary Ann Potter's land and that of John and Margaret Flint. In 1860 the couples each deeded half an acre to the Swan Creek Cemetery Company. By the last known burial, in 1930, more than eighty people had been buried here, including five Masonic Lodge members, six Civil War veterans, early area citizens and their descendants. Over the years, the cemetery deteriorated due to neglect and inaccessibility. Grave stones were vandalized, and plants grew wild. The State of Michigan declared Potter Cemetery abandoned in 1968. In 1998 descendants of those buried here formed the Friends of Potter Cemetery to begin restoration efforts, including repairing grave markers, removing trees and stumps and installing a fence.
photo of Potter Cemetery

Public Act 525 of 2012

When the Friends of Potter Cemetery began to restore Potter Cemetery in 1998, the cemetery was landlocked, meaning there was no public ingress or egress. This required the group to cross private land to reach the burial ground. In 2000 the Friends lost access to the cemetery. They tried to regain it through negotiations with the Township and landowners. After years of unsuccessful negotiation attempts, the group pursued litigation in 2007. In 2010 Ash Township purchased land to construct an access easement, which opened in December of that year. In 2008 the group had begun legislative efforts to ensure access to Michigan cemeteries. Four years later, Public Act 525 of 2012 was unanimously passed and signed into law. It prohibits cemeteries from being landlocked.
photo of Public Act 525 of 2012

Photos courtesy of the Friends of Potter Cemetery.

Erected 2017

Location: Swan Creek Rd and Labo Rd
Ash Township, Monroe County

Civil War

Latitude: 42.026745204, Longitude: -83.30685853

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