"Detroit's Mount Olivet Cemetery" By Cecile Wendt Jensen
Mount Olivet was the second Catholic cemetery developed by the Mount Elliott Cemetery Association. Now surrounded by city, Mount Olivet was nestled in the countryside when it opened in 1888. Directions in 1900 instructed visitors to reach the cemetery via train or electric streetcar. Round-trip was 35¢ on the Grand Trunk Railroad. The varied backgrounds of those buried in the consecrated ground at Mount Olivet reflect the surge in immigration to the city that spanned the early 20th century. Belgian, German, Italian, and Polish cultural, business, and political leaders are buried here. Each group clustered near its own Catholic parish and had its own funeral directors, photographers, and florists: Our Lady of Sorrows (Belgian), St. Joseph (German), San Francesco (Italian), and St. Albertus (Polish). Funeral directors included Charles Verheyden (Belgian), Frank J. Calcaterra (Italian), and Joseph Kulwicki (Polish), who officiated at the first burial at the cemetery. Military burials range from Civil War soldiers to those who fought in Vietnam. The cemetery is graced with beautiful marble and granite statuary and unique mausoleums designed by noted architects and featuring stained-glass windows. The Mount Elliott Cemetery Association provides perpetual care for Mount Olivet Cemetery and four sister cemeteries: Mount Elliott, Resurrection, All Saints, and Guardian Angel.