History Of Our Cemetery
Land for St. Joseph Cemetery was purchased in several installments, the first being in 1896. In that year, Fr. John Durward wrote “Those favoring a new cemetery purchased 10 acres just north of the public burying ground. This action has roused those who wish to remain by the old one, and it has been decided to put in a system of water works.”
Walnut Hill Cemetery had been started in 1859.
From those original 10 acres, St. Joseph Cemetery has grown to 18.5 acres. Land was added in 1942, 1952, 1961 and 1994.
In 2007 St. Joseph Cemetery was annexed to the City of Baraboo.
Members of the St. Joseph Cemetery Association Board of Directors as of 2016:
Fr. Jay Poster
Gerry Cummings - Chairperson
Meetings of the Board are held at least annually, in the St. Joseph Parish Office building.
Guests are always welcome! Watch the bulletin for times and dates.
Frequently Asked Cemetery Questions:
Why choose burial in a Catholic cemetery?
Many of the choices we make in life tell the world something about what kind of person we are; what we believe in, what we hold dear to us. Burial in a Catholic cemetery serves the same purpose. While it is true that a priest usually blesses the grave of a Catholic buried in a secular cemetery, choosing to be buried in the consecrated ground of a known Catholic cemetery tells the world that we believe in Jesus Christ and all that he teaches.
Can my non-Catholic spouse or family member be buried next to me?
The preservation of families is always encouraged by the Church, even in death. So yes, a non-Catholic family member can be buried in the Catholic cemetery.
Can more than one person be buried in a grave?
The current policy of St. Joseph Cemetery is to allow one full-body burial per grave or one full-body burial and the burial of one set of cremains (cremated remains) or the burial of two sets of cremains.
On rare occasions there may be a third burial between two graves, such as with the burial of an infant between the graves of the parents.
It should be noted that scattering of cremains in not allowed by the Church or the State of Wisconsin. Likewise the co-mingling of two person’s cremains is prohibited. Cremains are to be given the same dignity that the body would deserve.
If you have more questions about the Catholic Church and cremation, call the Parish Office to request a pamplet put out by the Federation of Liturgical Commissions. This pamphlet is free for the asking and is well written with clear answers to commonly asked questions.
Does our cemetery have a special section for babies?
Many years ago a small section of the cemetery was designated for infants and children. A limited number of these graves are still available. They are smaller than normal graves and priced to make them affordable for young families who may not yet be financially stable or who feel they may move to another town in the future.
What are the policies of St. Joseph Cemetery regarding artificial flowers and headstones?
Artificial flowers are prohibited during the period beginning two weeks after Easter and ending November 1st.
Perennial flowers and shrubs are permitted, but it should be kept in mind that the full grown plant cannot encroach on the neighboring graves. In situations where a shrub overgrows the boundaries of the owner’s graves, the owner will be contacted and asked to remove the plant. When choosing plants it should be remembered that graves are 5’ x 11’.
At the present time, the only restrictions on headstones are that they not exceed the width of the graves and that they be decorated with images appropriate for a Catholic cemetery.
We encourage families to adorn headstones with images representative of their faith. The Church’s cemeteries silently witness belief in bodily resurrection, individual human dignity and the Communion of Saints.
Will St. Joseph Cemetery ever have a columbarium?
A columbarium is a special structure with individual niches for the committal of cremains. They are similar to a mausoleum but built specifically for cremations. They are generally built above ground and allow many committals while taking up a small amount of land. In Baraboo, columbaria can be found at Walnut Hill Cemetery and in the courtyard of Trinity Episcopal Church. At this time St. Joseph Cemetery Association does not have the funds to build such a structure.
What is the cost of a grave?
Please contact the Parish office for the current price.
A frequent misconception is that one purchases a grave. Actually, what is purchased is the burial right to that grave.
St. Joseph Cemetery Association retains ownership of the land.
At the time of a burial, there will be a charge for opening and closing the grave.