Lisbon cemetery strapped as more people choose cremation

Local News

It’s that time of year when the grass needs to be mowed often. That’s an issue now for a Columbiana County cemetery.

The Lisbon Village Cemetery has been around since 1834. A lot of history is sitting on the property, even cannons from the Civil War. Keeping the area looking nice this time of year is a challenge.

“We have 50 acres in this cemetery. By the time you are in one area, you just start over again,” said Barry James, chairman of the Lisbon Cemetery Board.

There are two workers at the cemetery. One is full-time and the other part-time, which makes it difficult to keep up with the maintenance.

“If we mow on Monday by Wednesday it looks like we haven’t done anything,” James said. “When you are mowing grass in a cemetery, it is not like it’s your backyard. You have so many obstacles in front of you and you have to be very careful.”

James says a big reason they can’t afford to hire more employees is more people are choosing not to do traditional burials in favor of cremation. 

Last year, there was a record high of 26 cremations and a record low 29 burials. It’s a trend that is happening across the country.

According to the Cremation Association of America, the cremation rate in the U.S. was over 51 percent in 2017. By 2022, it’s expected to be over 57 percent.

As the Lisbon Cemetery deals with the reduced cash flow associated with the trend, they are looking for volunteers to help out with mowing, especially for the Memorial Day ceremonies. If you are interested in helping out call (330) 424-7970.

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