Rules, Regulations and Policies

The cemetery is located at 30 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO, and can be contacted at (573) 449-6320. The cemetery is private property owned by the Columbia Cemetery Association. We welcome family members and friends of persons interred in the cemetery and other respectful visitors to the cemetery any day from 7 a.m. to dusk. Visitors are reminded the grounds of the cemetery are sacredly devoted to the interment and repose of the dead, and a strict observance of acceptable decorum will be expected and required of all. Please help us keep the atmosphere of the cemetery beautiful and reverent.

Large groups of visitors and commercial and political entities must receive advance written permission from the cemetery Superintendent before conducting any functions or activities at the cemetery. The Columbia Cemetery Association reserves the right to deny permission for such functions or activities, and if permission is granted, the function or activity must be conducted in compliance with any conditions imposed by the Superintendent to maintain the reverent atmosphere of the cemetery.

Hours of Operation

The office maintains normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meeting with cemetery staff outside these hours is by appointment only.

General Supervision

  1. The following rules and regulations have been adopted by the Columbia Cemetery Association to provide consistency in the management and operation of the cemetery.
  2. These rules and regulations may be changed by the Association without notice.
  3. The Superintendent must be contacted and written permission granted in advance before any functions, activities or stone work is performed.
  4. The cemetery abides by the City of Columbia leash laws; a dog must be on a leash at all times while on the premises and feces must be bagged and removed from the cemetery.
  5. While the cemetery will take all reasonable precautions to protect and maintain the gravesites within the cemetery from loss or damage, it is not responsible or liable for loss or damage beyond its control, such as that caused by natural elements, theives, vandals and civil disorder.

Care and Maintenance

All lots are sold with the benefit of continual care. Maintenance is done by the superintendent and staff under the direction of the Columbia Cemetery Association without cost to lot owners. Perpetual or endowed care of a cemetery means the general maintenance and repair of cemetery grounds such as mowing and trimming, landscaping, upkeep of roads, signage, and repair of old headstones of those buried without descendants. Families, on the other hand, are responsible for the upkeep of their headstones and keeping gravesites clean and neat. The cemetery is dedicated to the concept of perpetual care and will do all it can to maintain and enhance the beauty and reverent atmosphere of the cemetery.

Burial and Lots

  1. All lots will be used for the burial of human remains only.
  2. All graves will be sodded level with the adjoining ground. None will be mounded.
  3. No full sized gravesite may contain more than four urns of cremated remains or two if using an urn vault.
  4. The cemetery sells 4-foot-by-4-foot areas for the interment of infants less than 2 years old or two cremated remains without an urn vault.
  5. One full-sized burial and two urns of cremated remains are allowed in a full sized grave.
  6. Cremated remains may be scattered only with advance written approval from the Superintendent and only in a designated scattering garden or ossuary. A fee will apply.
  7. The burial of two or more bodies within one gravesite is allowed in certain instances, with prior approval. One of the burials will be buried twice as deep. An extra charge applies.
  8. Only cemetery staff may conduct disinterments. Pre-payment is required.
  9. All transfers of lot ownership must be in writing and must be recorded in the Cemetery Office Lot Ownership Record.
  10. A funeral director must be present for all casketed or non-casketed human remains burials. A certificate of cremation from the licensed crematory must be received and a cemetery official must be present for all cremated remains burials.
  11. Notification of burials must be made 24 hours in advance unless other arrangements are approved by the superintendent.
  12. Burials at an angle other than the standard east-west orientation will be confined to a designated section of the cemetery.
  13. All payments must be paid in advance of grave preparation, including opening and closing costs and the price of the interment space.
  14. The Columbia Cemetery will perform opening and closing of the grave. Handfuls of dirt may be placed in the grave by those in attendance. The grave will be filled after family and friends have left the cemetery.
  15. Neither a casket nor a vault is required for burials in the Columbia Cemetery.
  16. No side niches or compartments are allowed in the grave.
  17. Soil conditions below the surface are unpredictable. The Columbia Cemetery is not responsible for water entering the grave or collapse of the sides.

Monuments, Markers and Headstones

A monument or headstone is considered any edifice measuring six inches to four feet above ground level. A marker is considered any evidence measuring six inches or less above ground level.

  1. All headstones or monuments must be approved by the Superintendent prior to installation.
  2. A maximum of one headstone or monument and one marker are permitted on a full-sized gravesite. One headstone or monument is permitted on a 4-foot-by-4-foot area.
  3. On multiple lots for entire families where a headstone or monument serves two or more bodies, the headstone or monument will be on a line centered between the lots. Markers may then denote each individual grave.
  4. A headstone or marker on a single gravesite may be up to three feet wide and 16 inches deep. A headstone or marker on a double gravesite may be up to 5 feet wide and 16 inches deep.
  5. Every monument must be set on a concrete foundation four inches wider than the base for a depth of at least 30 inches. Bronze markers must be set on a concrete base of no less than 18 inches.
  6. Headstones must be made of certified granite that will not discolor.
  7. If any headstone, marker, memorial, structure or inscription is determined by the cemetery to be offensive, the cemetery shall have the right to require the offensive item be replaced or altered at the patron’s expense. Should the patron not comply, the cemetery retains the right to remove the item.
  8. Enclosures around a gravesite or lot are not permitted.
  9. Corner markers are allowed if they are set flush with the sod.
  10. Memorial headstones or markers may be placed without interment of a body or urn for a fee equal to an urn burial.
  11. Second headstones or markers on a grave will be ground level.


  1. Approved decorations are welcome on gravesites. To protect and prevent damage to decorations, we require these items to be off the ground or in containers that will not be affected by grass trimmers from April 1st to October 31st. Exceptions are made for 10 days following interments, Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Memorial Day. Your cooperation is requested.
  2. During the rest of the year, wreaths, tripods, grave blankets, and similar decorations are allowed.
  3. The cemetery will, at its discretion, remove decorations when they become unsightly or inhibit maintenance.
  4. Shepherds crooks, hanging baskets, glass containers, balloons, and free-standing decorations including solar lights are not allowed.
  5. Digging holes around grave markers to set jars or cans in the ground is not permitted.
  6. Only the cemetery staff is permitted to do gravesite maintenance.


  1. Planting of live trees, shrubbery, vines or flowers around gravesites is welcome. Such plantings are subject to prior written approval by the Cemetery Association Landscaping Committee and shall be done at the lot owner's expense. See the cemetery's Tree Program.
  2. Live trees, shrubs, vines or flowers may be trimmed or removed by the cemetery if they become unsightly, diseased, encroach on adjacent lots or otherwise become inconsistent with the cemetery's overall landscaping.
  3. The cemetery is not liable for plantings that die due to natural or other causes. While cemetery staff will take every precaution to work around patron-supplied plantings, it is not liable for damage done to such plantings during the normal course of cemetery maintenance.


Mausoleum construction and other above-ground structures on the lots is permitted. However, prior written approval of the cemetery Board of Directors is required. The cemetery reserves the right to insure such structure and its location is in keeping with the overall appearance of the cemetery. The prevailing lot rates at time of purchase do not apply to the purchase of a lot for the purpose of erecting a mausoleum thereon.

© 2005-2010 Columbia Cemetery Association
Columbia, Missouri
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