Decoration & Visitation Rules

As one of Appleton's historic cemeteries, we work hard to keep our grounds as beautiful as possible.  Our cemetery was created in a time when rural cemeteries pre-dated modern public parks and were meant to be a place for people to gather in a natural space surrounded by attractive monuments, as we have many.  We are committed to keeping our cemetery looking good to honor those buried here.  Our decoration & visitor rules are a way to maintain those standards.



  1. Our cemetery is open to visitors from dawn until dusk.  Our main entrance on Ballard Road is controlled by an electronic gate that adjusts times during the year.  There is also an original arch entrance now located adjacent to Riverside Cemetery.  When exiting, please exit through the main gate on Ballard Road.
  2. People are welcome, however, dogs and pets are not allowed.
  3. Please park vehicles on the paved roads to not cause damage to the grass.
  4. We have a variety of wildlife that call our cemetery their home, please do not leave food in the cemetery.
  5. Pesticides are periodically applied to the cemetery.  You may contact the cemetery manager for further information.



Decoration rules help keep our cemetery beautiful, our staff safe, and local wildlife free from harm.  NOTE:  you may see flowers that appear to be "breaking the rules," they are likely from a very recent burial, see FUNERAL SERVICES/BURIAL DAY.   The cemetery does reserve the right to remove any unseasonal or inappropriate items.  Any off-season items that are removed will be placed behind the workshop.


FLOWERS:  Only live cut or artificial seasonal flower bouquets no more than 24 inches in height are allowed in an approved container.  An approved container is one that is manufactured for cemetery use, fitting in an inground sleeve, and designed to be flush with the ground when not in use. Vases can be purchased at the cemetery office to be installed for you, please allow a few days from purchase to installation.  Containers may be filled with topsoil or tightly fitting Styrofoam to keep bouquets from blowing away.  No marbles, stones rocks, gravel or cement are allowed in the containers*.  


FAMILY MONUMENTS: Monuments with pre-installed vases should follow the FLOWER rules above.  Monuments without pre-installed vases may have a stainless-steel plant holder designed to hold pots or vases on each side only if it does not interfere with cemetery maintenance.  Small floral saddles placed on top of the monument are allowed as long as they are stable and do not interfere with cemetery maintenance.


Individual or double markers may not have anything attached on them.

NOT ALLOWED:  No decorations are allowed to be put in or around the ground of a marker or monument*.  These will include but not be inclusive to:  shepherd hooks, flags, crosses, solar lights, statues, stones, beads, coins, candy or food, balloons, or plantings. Taping, wiring, gluing, or attaching anything to a marker or monument in any manner is prohibited*.  No item may be attached to or be placed upon a marker or monument unless approved by the cemetery.


* When mowing, these objects can be dislodged and become projectiles toward staff and visitors to the cemetery.


VETERANS are honored for Memorial Day at St. Joseph Cemetery.  The cemetery will place flags on the markers of the deceased whom we have recorded as being veterans.  If your loved one was a veteran and is not getting a flag placed, please contact the office to make sure that they are on the list.  Flags placed by the cemetery are property of the cemetery and will be placed before and removed shortly after Memorial Day.  

WINTER HOLIDAY DECORATIONS:  Winter decoration such as a wreath, no more than 36”, on an approved stand or strung to a monument or marker may be permitted after fall clean up beginning on the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Do NOT drive stakes or posts into the ground. If you have purchased the St. Joseph Wreath Program, we will place an artificial wreath or cross in the beginning of December and remove it in the beginning of February. See WREATH PROGRAM for more details. 


**DO NOT put winter decorations out before the approved time, even if you see others doing it.  During winter burials and snow removal, St. Joseph Cemetery and its staff will not be responsible for any damage done to any vases, decorations or decoration stands.



  • In-Ground Graves:  Funeral flowers are allowed to be left by the grave on the day of a burial but will be removed when they become unsightly or after five days.
  • Niche & Crypts:  Funeral flowers are allowed only on the day of the burial.



To maintain our well-kept cemetery with our limited staff, we have 2 seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.  We clean and remove all decorations on March 15 & October 15 every year to allow cemetery maintenance to take place.

  • Spring Cleanup begins March 15, at which point all decorations must be removed from the cemetery. 
  • Spring/Summer decorations may be placed starting the weekend before Easter Sunday.  Keep in mind, when Easter comes early or if the cemetery is still snow-covered, the window between cleanup on March 15 and the weekend before can be small and we will be very busy, you can always contact the cemetery if you have concerns or simply wait a few days closer to Easter.
  • Fall clean up begins October 15th, at which point all decorations must be removed from the cemetery.
  • Winter decorations may not be placed until the first weekend before Thanksgiving and should be removed by March 15th.  If you chose to purchase wreath placement by St. Joseph Cemetery, those wreaths will be placed in early December and removed early February.
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