Bluff View Cemetery

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Bluff View Cemetery

Vermillion, Clay County, South Dakota, USA
Memorials 5,680 added (59% photographed)

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Named for its location on the bluff overlooking the broad valley of the Missouri, the cemetery was established in 1882. It was originally all located in the SE 1/4, Section 20, Fairview Township, on a ten acre plot purchased from Thomas Jordan. Recent additions included Calvary and North Bluff View. Calvary, consisting of two and one-half acres was purchased from Carl Gunderson in 1917 and located in the SE 1/4, Section 19, Vermillion Township.

Two earlier cemetery are known to have existed in the Vermillion area. The first was located on the bluff at the top of Chandler Hill. It was started prior to 1863 and was discontinued when the second, or North Cemetery was established in 1870/1871 near the present site of Independent School in the NW1/4 Section 7, Vermillion Township. The North Cemetery was also named Remington Cemetery for which no explanation has been found (Clay County Place names, 1976, p.30)

Clay County’s largest cemetery, Bluff View was established in 1882. Its original 10-acre plot which was purchased from Thomas Jordan, has been expanded twice. The Calvary addition was made in 1917 and is Catholic in origin. (Harnois Report, 1991, p.8)

In the Bluff View Cemetery records the burials before 1882 are reburials from other cemeteries in the area. Due to the records of Bluff View Cemetery being lost in a fire in 1920, the records up till 1920 are from old records of lot owners, from cemetery stones, newspapers, and in the 1940,l the W.P.A. did their best to bring the records up to date at that time. Since then the records are kept up to date.

Union Cemetery was moved to Bluff View in 1882 – all burials before this date were moved to this Cemetery. The county farm burials were moved to Bluff View cemetery. (Bluff View Cemetery Record, undated, Verla & Stanley Knudson).

The Bluff View Cemetery Chapel was built in 1901 at the entrance to the combined cemetery grounds. Its design included a mixture of Neoclassical and Gothic Revival architecture that was common in certain churches of that period. During its history, the chapel has been available for mourners and for quiet reflection. It also has served as a repository for bodies that could not be buried in the winder because of frozen ground. The Vermillion Cemetery Association owns and maintains the Chapel, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. (Guide to National Register of Historic Places in Clay County, 2007, p.46)

Researchers may wish to check the original Knudson records housed at the Centerville Museum or copies archived at the Austin-Whittmore House in Vermillion for other annotations or updates.


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GPS Coordinates: 42.7714000, -96.9056000

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #96824