Barnstable Dedicates New Columbarium in Cotuit

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COTUIT – A dedication ceremony was held Wednseday for a new columbarium at the Mosswood Cemetery in Cotuit.

The Kirkman Columbarium & Gardens houses 96 niches which provide a space for urns that contain cremated remains.

“This will be a place where families can come to remember, honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have gone before,” said Barnstable Town Manager Tom Lynch.

Barnstable’s Foreman of Cemeteries Daniel St. Pierre said it is more than a place for the safekeeping of loved ones and will have an ecological impact.

“We are standing on the footprint of about 30 graves, ground burial graves. We can put 192 inurnments in here,” he said. “We are saving so much open space by doing something like this. It is fantastic.”

The niches, which can be engraved, cost $1,000 and can hold up to two urns.

“We do have rules and regulations on the engraving so we get a uniform look,” St. Pierre said.

St. Pierre said 15 of the 96 niches have already been presold and the columbarium’s design will allow for more niches to be built in the future.

“Once these are billed out we have plans to put more on either side of the circle and on the walkway in, another four,” he said. “Once that is filled up, we take that footprint and move it over.”

St. Pierre said cremations figures continue to rise and does not believe the town will have a problem in filling them out.

“Cremations are more than half of what we do now as far as burials,” he said. “Cremation is up and coming. It’s getting more and more popular.”

The columbarium is open to residents in Barnstable.

“They have jurisdiction over the niche and they can put family and friends in there,” St. Pierre said. “Each resident can buy up to two niches.”

Residents who feel they need more than two niches can petition the town manager.

The Kirkman Trust Fund, which is an endowment to maintain cemeteries and libraries, funded the cost of the columbarium.

Trust Fund Advisory Committee Chair William “Bo” Murdoch, Jr. said the columbarium cost about $130,000.

Plans were started for the structure in 2014 and construction was completed last year.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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