Cemetery Manager: Jeff Thompson
Ela Township owns and maintains two cemeteries: Fairfield Cemetery, located on Quentin Road just one block
south of Old McHenry Road, and Lake Zurich Cemetery on Church Street in Lake Zurich.
The cemetery was founded in 1853 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in the small nearby, now lost, settlement of Russells’ Grove. In September of 1853 the cemetery was registered in Lake County located about 200’ south of the church. The church sold its property and moved out in 1914. Five years later a nonprofit cemetery association was formed.
In 2006, the cemetery association deeded the property and its care to Ela Township under provisions of the Cemetery Care Act of Illinois. A three-person board was appointed to manage the cemetery. The township immediately started the giant task of restoring grass, repairing monuments, removing scrub trees and overgrown shrubs, replacing the front fence, and redoing the front pillars.
In 2009, Historic Archaeological Research was brought in to aid in verifying and completing records. There were 760 grave sites, 432 identified. Many unmarked burials were located and about 40 undisturbed grave sites that have not had active ownership for 100 years were identified for reacquisition. Another 22 grave sites belonging to the cemetery have been cleared for sale.
Lake Zurich Cemetery *
Lake Zurich had a large settlement of immigrant German farmers in 1901 when many of them joined to build St. Peter Evangelical and Reformed Church and open a two-acre church cemetery nearby on Midlothian Road. In 1949, St. Peter Congregational Church (U.C.C.) in response to the new Illinois cemetery act, deeded the cemetery to the just formed Lake Zurich Cemetery Association, which operated until 2007. At that time, the cemetery board knew that perpetual care would eventually become impossible to deliver. The Ela Township Board, with the help of permissive state law, was able to assume ownership of the cemetery.
Since the takeover, the township has improved general maintenance, filled sinking areas, planted trees, improved the overall appearance, installed a scatter garden and opened a new section. Daily visitors come to the cemetery to share remembrances of good times, to meditate, and to visit with lost loved ones.
Cremation Scatter Garden in Lake Zurich Cemetery
A scatter garden in Lake Zurich Cemetery was completed in 2009. Cremations are becoming more popular as cemetery space becomes scarce. Rising costs for burial plots, cremation plots and niches, and monuments make scatter gardens a less expensive alternative.
Some people have cremation ashes from a loved one, but don’t have clear or specific directions for disposal. This garden is a dedicated and blessed area within the cemetery. The monolith stone with a 20 x 30 inch bronze plaque is inscribed, “A Garden of Treasured Memories – Come find peace here . . . and remember.”
Each person to be remembered will have an engraved nameplate with birth and death dates attached to the large plaque. The township garden is a quiet beautifully landscaped and fenced nook within the cemetery. There are benches for quiet remembrance. Ashes will be scattered in a specific location with the assistance of an Ela Township Cemetery Board representative.
Rules and Regulations for Placement of Decorations on Gravesites:
- Only two (2) decorations allowed per gravesite.
- Potted plants must be maintained or they will be removed.
- Trees, shrubs and perennials will only be planted with the approval of the cemetery representative.
- Any decoration that is broken, faded or deteriorated will be removed.
- No edging installed around monument of any kind.
- Do not hang any items in Trees or shrubs.
- Ela Township is not responsible for any decorations. We want to honor your loved ones but we don’t want to dishonor our cemetery.
SERVICES & COSTS:
Burial Grave Site $1,000
Infant Grave Site $250*
Cremation Burial Site $450
Scatter Garden Service $250* (Includes bronze name/dates marker)
Opening and closing graves $800** (Sundays and holidays add $1,600**)
Cremation & infant burials $250** (Sundays and holidays add $500**)
*Not available at Fairfield Cemetery
**Contract services subject to change
Cemetery Board, Agendas & Meeting Minutes