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Cemetery now township property

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August 11, 2010 - Groveland Twp.-For three decades, Dale Smith, 56, former Holly Township supervisor, and his brother, Mark Smith, have cared for the Olive Branch Cemetery.

"We mowed the place and pretty much cared for the acre cemetery, it's time for a change," said Smith.

"There's about 200 graves in the cemetery, the earliest dates back to about 1850. Several are Civil War graves and many are area residents that moved here from New York."

On Monday night, the township officially took over care of the Olive Branch cemetery, located on North Holly Road on the southwest corner of the township, and accepted a quit claim deed of the property. According to Michigan Compiled Laws, if the cemetery is not owned by an association, it then becomes the responsibility of the township to properly take care of the property.

The township will pay about $160 per month during the summer months to have the lawn mowed.

Pam Mazich, township clerk, said that Smith approached her earlier this year regarding care of the cemetery.

"The township has the responsibility to take over the cemetery when a (cemetery) association does not exist," said Mazich.

Mazich said the township has obtained a map of grave plots and there are some still open. Anyone interested can stop into the township office.

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