Within Banks Township are four public cemeteries that are maintained by the Township. Only three are available for burials. The Catholic Cemetery, due to its geography and lack of burial records, is not used for burials. The local American Legion Post assists with decorating the graves of veterans with flags prior to Memorial Day each year.
The Atwood Cemetery is located on Church Road, about 2 miles southeast of Atwood. It was established and maintained by a Cemetery Association until 1996 when the responsibility was transferred to Banks Township. A recent expansion insures available grave sites for years to come.
The Ellsworth Cemetery is located on Eaton Road, about 1 mile west of Ellsworth. Formerly called the Boss Cemetery, burials date back to the early 1900’s. The Cemetery was managed by a Cemetery Association until 1962 when Banks Township assumed the care and maintenance. The Cemetery has been expanded twice over the years and now is nearly triple the original size. In 1955, a storage vault was built to allow storage for spring burials. The American Legion Post dedicated a War Memorial on the site on Memorial Day, 1956.
The Catholic Cemetery is located on U.S. 31, just north of the intersection of Essex Road. This Cemetery, it is believed, was established by the Catholic congregation of Atwood in the 1870’s. Owned by the Dioceses of Gaylord, it is maintained by Banks Township. It was not until 1995 that ownership was determined. The Township Board, while not having record of ownership, provided the maintenance to avoid the deterioration of the site. Previously, no bill had been sent as the parcel was listed as tax exempt. This brought the ownership of the Cemetery to light, both for the Township and the Diocese! However, no action to maintain or improve the cemetery was initiated by the Catholic Diocese and the Township continues to preserve the site.
The Antrim City Cemetery is located on Old Dixie Highway, on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan. It is near the site of the historic Antrim City, once a booming lumbering town. Burials date back to the 1870’s. In the 1990’s, the Banks Township Board undertook a renovation project to clear and establish additional burial lots in the lower level of the site. Many residents of the western side of the Township have chosen the Antrim City Cemetery as their final resting place.
For information on Banks Township Cemeteries, lot sales and prices please contact the township offices at 231-588-6126.