Pine Grove Cemetery Expansion Project


Established in the 1850s when the Town’s original burial ground became full, Pine Grove Cemetery is a traditional public burial ground in the Town of Salem, New Hampshire. The cemetery, located on Main Street and North Main Street, is the largest active cemetery in the Town of Salem. Lacking an initial development plan, or any subsequent planning documents, the cemetery has developed organically over time and currently accommodates in‐ground burials of casketed and cremated remains. Pine Grove Cemetery has an overall rural/parklike character with rolling topography, rock outcrops, and wooded areas, and as an older cemetery, it has an eclectic collection of varying headstone styles and gravesite treatments.

In 2014, The Town of Salem, as part of their ongoing cemetery operations and inventory, identified the Pine Grove Cemetery as needing additional space. With the rapid depletion of open burial sections, there was a need to develop new burial sections in the near future in order to continue to meet the needs of the residents of Salem. Due to the relatively low inventory, the cemetery currently has a policy of limiting plots sales to the time of need, and plots are not sold in advance. By developing a roadmap for burial expansion and future improvements to the grounds and facilities through a planning process, Pine Grove Cemetery can continue to meet the needs of the residents in both the short‐ and long-term.

The need for expansion became urgent in 2015 as the newer Section 9A had minimal burial space available for the next 3-5 years. The Municipal Services Department presented a report to the Board of Selectmen in the summer of 2016 identifying the importance of putting together a master plan for the sustainability of the remaining area of the cemetery.  At their November 5, 2018 meeting, the BOS adopted a Master Plan for Pine Grove Cemetery as prepared by the LA Group which provides guidance to implement phased improvements that will extend the cemetery’s operational lifespan for an estimated twenty to thirty years.

Land clearing began in 2019 for proposed section 12 which encompasses Phases 3-5 that would create an additional 800 plus more full burial plots. Section 12 work was planned to resume in 2020 however with the onset of the pandemic the project was put on hold for financial concerns. The Municipal Services Department will start work in Section 12 beginning in July of 2021 of which will include new plantings, perimeter fencing, and new road sections among other things. The work will be done using both town forces and contracted forces in an effort to keep costs in check. Town forces completed the cremation-only sections as an alternative to the traditional full burial plots.

Contact Us

Please view the Master Plan (PDF) for more information or reach out to Municipal Services at 603-890-2150.