The Cemetery Commission is responsible for the care and management of all public burial grounds in the town. The commission meets periodically throughout the year to discuss and plan cemetery operations. When the need arises for a meeting, time and date are posted at town hall.
As their one-year appointments ended, Commissioners John Mark Tiilikkala and Alan Murray ran for one and three year terms. Both were elected Mr. Tiilikkala for one year, Mr. Murray for three.
The 1902 rules and regulations governing the Ashby cemeteries were updated and approved at the Annual Town Meeting this past year. The updated version is available at Town Hall.
This year the commission reviewed available software for record-keeping and purchased the CIMS light cemetery record package which will allow us to keep all our records in one convenient place. This “light” version does not include mapping but can be upgraded to that after all the records have been entered.
Shary Berg and Gretchen Schuler of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreations: Heritage Landscape Inventory Program returned to Ashby this past spring and, with the help of Andrew Leonard our Land Use Coordinator, catalogued and evaluated all the headstones, trees, structures and the general landscape of the cemeteries. In April they generated the Ashby Cemetery Handbook which lays out a preservation plan for the First Parish cemetery, provides a detailed inventory of all three cemeteries, and has a very useful section on resource materials. First Parish cemetery was also surveyed and a map showing locations of each stone was made. This handbook will be a great asset to this and future commissions as we carry out maintenance and preservation of the cemeteries. We cannot thank them enough for all their