Muskegon Indian Cemetery  
Old Indian Cemetery

Picture taken July 2000

The Old Indian Cemetery is an ongoing project of the Greater Muskegon Historic Association 
and the information on it as well as the picture comes from them. 
The original cemetery (the first in Muskegon) was deeded by lumber baron Martin Ryerson to the city of Muskegon and was originally an acre of land. In 1961 there were about 200 burials on the site. Many of the original pioneers of Muskegon as well as Indians are buried there. The cemetery,  located at 298 Morris Ave., is now about .4 of an acre and  the rest being covered by a parking lot. Thanks to the Historic Association for yet another important contribution on the history of Muskegon!


State Register listed 6/13/1961
Marker Erected 4/30/1964
Historic Marker reads-

Old Indian Cemetery

  This cemetery was already established when the first white man came to this area. It
  is believed to have been used by the Ottawas as early as 1750 and is known to have
  been a burial ground from 1806 to 1854 for both Indians and settlers. The
  Daily-Badeau trading post existed from 1830 to 1848 on the shore of Muskegon
  Lake below the cemetery. Louis B. Badeau purchased lot 2, containing the
  cemetery, and much of downtown Muskegon, in 1839. This was the starting point
  for all early surveys in the area. Near here Martin Ryerson set up his first sawmill. He
  obtained title to the cemetery, and in 1926 his son, Martin A. Ryerson, deeded it to
  Muskegon with the stipulation that it be maintained in perpetuity. 

 The deed as recorded in the deeds office of Muskegon County, Muskegon, 


Received for Record this 12th day of March, A.D. 1926 at 4:00 o'clock P.M.
Edward Hanson Register of Deeds

This Indenture, Made the twenty-sixth day of February, in the year of our 
Lord on thousand nine hundred twenty six  BETWEEN Martin A. Ryerson and 
Carrie Ryerson, his wife, of the City of Chicago, County of Cook and State of 
Illinois of the first part, and The City of Muskegon, a municipal corporation 
of the second part.
    Witnesseth, That the said parties of the first part, for and in 
consideration of the sum of One Dollar and other valuable considerations to them
 in hand paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is 
hereby confessed and acknowledged by these presents grant, bargain, sell 
remise, release and forever QUIT-CLAIM unto the said party of the second part 
and to it successors and assigns, FOREVER, all that certain piece __ or 
parcel ___ of land, situated in the City of Muskegon in Muskegon County, and 
State of Michigan, known and described as follows:
Lot three (3) Block five Hundred Sixty-three (563) of the revised plat of the 
city of Muskegon, adopted Apr. 9th 1903
    Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances 
thereunto belonging or anywise appertaining:  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said 
above described premises to the said party of the second part, and to its 
successors and assigns, to the sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof 
of the said party of the second part, its successors and assigns, FOREVER.
    In Witness Whereof, The said parties of the first part have hereunto set 
their hands and seals the day and year first above written. 
Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Presence of 
H. W. Easton                            Martin A. Ryerson       (L.S)
Francis K. Hutchinson               Carrie Ryerson            (L.S)

County of Maricopa

                          On this 26th day of February in the year one 
thousand, nine hundred and twenty six before me, the subscriber O. N. Handley,
in and for said County, personally appeared Martin A. Ryerson and Carrie 
Ryerson to me known to be the same persons described in, and who executed the 
within instrument, who __ acknowledged the same to be their free act and deed.

                                        O. N. Handley
                                        Notary Public
                        (SEAL)      My commission expires Sept. 14, 1928 

Minutes of the City of Muskegon
March 8th, 1926

G-6066  Quit Claim Deed & Agreement, Martin A. Ryerson, Indian Cemetery.

    A quit claim deed was received from Martin A. Ryerson and Carrie Ryerson 
to the City of Muskegon covering Lot three (3) Block five Hundred Sixty Three 
(563) revised plat of the City of Muskegon April 9, 1903 known as the Indian 
Cemetery.  Also an agreement between the City of Muskegon and Martin A. 
Ryerson was submitted relative to the perpetual care of the above described 

    Commissioner Hadden Moved that the deed be accepted and recorded, that 
the Mayor and City Clerk sign the agreement on behalf of the City of Muskegon 
and that the $5000.00 paid to the city under that agreement be invested in 
either United State, State of Michigan, County of Muskegon or City of 
Muskegon registered bonds.      Supported by Commission Beardsley.
    Adopted by the following vote, viz:  Ayes, Commissioners Wilson, 
Beardsley, Ester and Hadden.        Nays,  None.

Signed by Mayor Lincoln Ester and City Clerk Ida L. Christiansen

In preparation to receive funds for the Old Indian Cemetery the city adopted 
a revision to the cemetery ordinance, here are the minutes for that meeting. 
First reading was March 9th 1925.
April 13th, 1925

F- 5551     Amendments to Cemetery Ordinances, Second Reading & Adopted.

    The second reading of an ordinance was had entitled "An Ordinance to 
amend Section 9 of an Ordinance entitled" An Ordinance Relative to the Care 
of Cemeteries in the City of Muskegon and to authorize persons to place funds 
in Trust in the Hands of the City Treasurer for the Perpetual Repair and Care 
of the Particular Lots.  Graves and Parcels of land in said Cemetery'".

    Also the second reading of an ordinance was had entitled "An Ordinance to 
amend Section 14 of and ordinance entitled 'An Ordinance Relative to the 
Cemeteries and Protection and Care thereof, and the Burial of the Dead in the 
City of Muskegon'".

    Commissioner Wilson moved that this be considered the second reading of 
the ordinance and that it be adopted.  Supported by Commission Dratz.
    Adopted by the following vote,  viz:  Ayes, Commissioner Wilson, Damm, 
Dratz, Estes, Hadden and Richards.      Nays, None.

Signed by Mayor Lincoln Ester and City Clerk Ida L. Christiansen

Another "Thank You" to the Greater Muskegon Historic Association for sharing their 
information on the Cemetery with us! You can find information on the Association and their 
efforts to preserve the history of Muskegon on the Library/Resources page. Also see the other contribution to the Muskegon MIGenWeb by the Association below-
The Last Livery- Information on the last livery stable in Michigan
The Martin Ryerson Family- information on the Muskegon Lumber Baron

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