Waveland solves cemetery overcrowding with expansion

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Since the 1800s, Waveland has buried its dead at the city cemetery off Waveland Avenue. No one knows exactly how old the cemetery really is, but leaders know, the original part of the Waveland Cemetery is full.

"The graves are too close together anyhow for my concern about it. And over there by my momma, you can't put anyone else over there because they've got too many people there already," said Waveland resident Eloise Johnson.

Running out of room wasn't an option. So city leaders recently cleared two and a half acres of land toward the back of the cemetery. That, city leaders say, will give them room for 3,600 more plots.

"People have been buried here for over a century," said Waveland Public Works Director Brent Anderson.

The plots are free, but there are some strict city ordinances governing the cemetery.

"You have to be a resident of Waveland for five years to be eligible to be buried here," Anderson said.

And you don't have to wait until someone dies to stake out a family plot, according to Anderson.

"Myself, or one of my employees will go to the cemetery with you. You should have one year to put a permanent rail around it to mark that location for you or your family members."

It's a goodwill offer to the community.

"This is something that the city gives back to its citizens. It's all cleaned and maintained with, of course, through city tax dollars. And it's just something through the years the city has given back to their citizens," explained Anderson.

City leaders believe the cemetery expansion will handle Waveland's needs for another 50 to 60 years.

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