Evergreen Cemetery Association - Brainerd, Minnesota

Evergreen Cemetery 1st Avenue Entrance Gate
Evergreen Cemetery Association
1105 3rd Ave NE
Brainerd, MN 56401
Contact Us
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   Hours Of Operation
Annual Meeting
Related Links
   Evergreen Cemetery
Memorial Gardens Cemetery
Columbarium Options
Memorial Day Ceremony
Brochures and Guides
Directory of the Dead
Maps / How To Find A Burial Site

Evergreen Cemetery Association - News and Announcements

May 27, 2023  *  A link to the 2023 Annual Letter has been added in the Donations section.

May 09, 2023  *  The online Directory of the Dead monthly update has been completed.

Aug 15, 2022  *  Brandon Mutz has been hired by the Evergreen Cemetery Board of Trustees as Superintendent.

Jun 20, 2022  *  A strong storm on Monday evening that caused widespread damage throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area damaged or blew down over 30 trees in Evergreen Cemetery.

Oct 10, 2021  *  Information about donating via Qualified Charitable Contributions from an IRA has been added to the Donations section.

July 21, 2021  *  The 2021 Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, July 20. Click on the Annual Meeting link in the menu for further details.

May 30, 2020  *  Evergreen Cemetery was recently vandalized when at least 24 monuments were toppled. You can see more in our Monument Vandalism May 30, 2020 Facebook album (you do not need a Facebook account to view this album).

May 16, 2020  *  Memorial Day hours have been announced.

Apr 10, 2020  *  The online Directory of the Dead monthly update has been completed.

Jan 02, 2020  *  Karen Lentz has officially retired after 8½ years as Executive Director. Dede Tollefson is the new Executive Director of the Evergreen Cemetery Association. Welcome, Dede!

July 30, 2019  *  The 2019 Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday July 23. Click on the Annual Meeting link in the menu for further details.

Mar 29, 2019  *  The Lot Owner's Guide and the Rules & Regulations brochures have been updated.

Oct 25, 2018  *  The Board of Trustees welcomes new member Terry Thorkelson. He replaces the retiring Conrad Bye, to whom the Board expresses its appreciation for his many years of service.

Aug 13, 2018  *  Over 30 people participated in the Brainerd History Week cemetery walking tour on August 11, led by John Van Essen and Duane Blanck featuring WW I veterans and nurses.

July 30, 2018  *  The 2018 Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday July 24.

May 26, 2018  *  READER OPINION: A letter to the editor from Duane Blanck about our staffing cuts and thanking volunteers for the work that they do was published in the Dispatch.

May 18, 2018  *  Memorial Day hours have been announced.

Apr 16, 2018  *  Big snowstorm over the weekend! Spring will be a little late this year.

July 18, 2017  *  The 2017 Annual Meeting was held on Monday July 17.

June 01, 2017  *  Our Internet Service Provider, CTC, is discontinuing website hosting for internet customers. So we have moved and we now have our own domain name. New URL - same great content: http://www.evergreencemeterybrainerd.com/

May 22, 2017  *  Updated regulations for Grave Decorations have been posted at the vehicle entry gates for Evergreen and Memorial Gardens Cemeteries. A printable version is available for download from our Brochures and Guides page (see menu, above).

Apr. 17, 2017  *  The Board of Trustees welcomes new member Susan Koering to the Board.

July 18, 2016  *  The 2016 Annual Meeting was held on Monday July 18.

June 18, 2016  *  Over 40 people participated in the Brainerd History Week cemetery walking tour led by John Van Essen and Duane Blanck featuring residents with homes or businesses in Northeast Brainerd more than a century ago.

Sep. 28, 2015  *  Executive Director Karen Lentz attended the Minnesota Association of Cemeteries annual convention September 23-25.

Aug. 24, 2015  *  PRESS RELEASE - Annual meeting held; Don Crust retirement; New board member wanted.

July 21, 2015  *  The 2015 Annual Meeting was held on Monday July 20.

July 12, 2015  *  Storm Damage Photo On Sunday evening, a supercell thunderstorm system swept through the Brainerd area.
Evergreen lost 28 trees, mostly in the Historic southernmost section of the cemetery.

We have uploaded a Photo Album of the Storm Damage on our Facebook page
(you do not need a Facebook account to view the album).

Duane Blanck 2015 History Walk group photo
June 16, 2015  *  The Evergreen Cemetery Association participated in Brainerd History Week 2015 by hosting a walking tour on June 16 featuring the gravesites of residents who lived in historic northside Brainerd homes more than a century ago. Over 40 walkers participated in tours led by Duane Blanck (photo at right) and John Van Essen.

June 15, 2015  *  Bruce McComas has been appointed to the Board of Trustees.

May 23, 2015  *  A web page for the 2014 History Walk has been added with links to the materials used and photographs of the event.

May 19, 2015  *  Memorial Day hours have been announced.

Apr. 20, 2015  *  We now have a web page for our Columbarium. See the menu, above.

Feb. 06, 2015  *  PRESS RELEASE - Evergreen Cemetery Board of Trustees welcomes Blackwell-Kraft and seeks another.

Jan. 25, 2015  *  Evergreen Cemetery was featured in the Jan. 21 New England Historic Genealogical Society newsletter.

Nov. 18, 2014  *  Denise Blackwell-Kraft has been appointed to the Board of Trustees to replace retiring board member John Krueger.

Nov. 13, 2014  *  PRESS RELEASE - Minnesota Association of Cemeteries elects Lentz as vice president.

Sep. 20, 2014  *  Executive Director Karen Lentz attended the Minnesota Association of Cemeteries annual convention September 17-19.

July 21, 2014  *  The annual meeting of the Evergreen Cemetery Association was held Monday, July 21, 2014. Gary Bluth was elected to replace retiring board member Robert Tusler.

June 19, 2014  *  A "History Walk" tour conducted as part of 2014 Brainerd History Week events was well-attended despite the rainy conditions.

Feb. 22, 2014  *  The Brainerd Daily Dispatch has a nice article about Superintendent Rusty Billman's 25 years of service to Evergreen Cemetery.

Jan. 02, 2013  *  The 75th Anniversary Booklet produced in 1954 by the Association for the 75th Anniversary of Evergreen Cemetery's founding (complete with pictures) is now available online as a 3.7 MB PDF file.

Oct. 27, 2012  *  Peter Wells organized for his Eagle Scout Project 40 volunteers to gather at Evergreen cemetery from 9 am until noon to clear off over 300 markers that had become obscured and unreadable over the many years the cemetery has been in operation. A heartfelt "Thank You" to all those who participated! (UPDATE: A 2012 Marker Cleaning Project webpage with more details and photos is now available.)

July 09, 2012  *  Two amended plat maps have been located and uploaded: Evergreen 3rd Addition (includes blocks 47-48), and Garden of Devotion (has corrected block & lot numbers). See Related Links, below

May 28, 2012  *  See selected photos from the 2012 Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery.

Oct. 01, 2011  *  The 2011 Winter issue of the Minnesota Association of Cemeteries Quarterly features an Interview with Executive Director Karen Lentz (220 KB PDF file).

Sep. 11, 2011  *  Retired judge Fred Casey is our newest board member. See the complete list of board members on the Contact Us page.

June 15, 2011  *  Barbara Gavin has begun her well-deserved retirement after nearly 40 years of managing the office at Evergreen Cemetery. We wish her a long and happy retirement!

Apr. 11, 2011  *  Karen Lentz has been selected by the board of trustees to fill the newly-created Executive Director position. Karen will be working with secretary Barb Gavin (who is retiring this summer) and superintendent Rusty Billman.

May 18, 2010  *  Notice to reclaim 50 unused plots has been published in the Brainerd Dispatch.

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Hours Of Operation

Evergreen Cemetery Office Hours
Office Address : 1105 3rd Ave NE
Brainerd, MN 56401
Office Phone : (218) 829-5898
Office Hours : Mon - Thu: 10:00 - 2:00
Vehicle Gates : Mon - Fri :  8:00 - 5:00   (Weather permitting)
Saturdays :  9:00 - Noon (April 15 - October 15 only)
Memorial Weekend Friday  :   8:00 - 8:00
Memorial Weekend Saturday  :   8:00 - 8:00
Memorial Weekend Sunday  : 10:00 - 8:00
Memorial Weekend Monday  :   1:00 - 8:00  (3rd Ave. gate, only)
Walk-in Gates : Open 24/7 (Please close them behind you when entering and exiting)

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Introduction

Evergreen Cemetery 1st Avenue Entrance Gate Plaque

The Evergreen Cemetery Association owns and manages Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd and the Memorial Gardens Cemetery just north of Brainerd. The Association has been in operation for over a century.

In 1870, the Northern Pacific Railway was building out its railroad system westward from Duluth. A settlement called "The Crossing" sprung up where the railroad crossed the Mississippi River and was incorporated as the City of Brainerd in 1871.

Early burials in the area were informal but within a few years a location northeast of Brainerd (now within the city limits) became the accepted public burial ground.

In 1879, a group of citizens decided that a formal organization was needed to sell lots, record burials and properly maintain the grounds, and thus was born the Evergreen Cemetery Association.

The nine-member Board of Trustees has been meeting for over 130 years to oversee the operation of the Association and to preserve the final resting places of the many people buried here.

The cemetery has been expanded several times and now occupies over 40 acres with over 17,000 interments.

Memorial Gardens Cemetery is just north of Brainerd on County Road 3 and is also owned and managed by the Evergreen Cemetery Association. The cemetery occupies 15 acres (out of 25 acres total) with over 2,000 interments.

The Association Office is adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery at 3rd Avenue NE and K Street in northeast Brainerd. The 3rd Avenue entrance for Evergreen Cemetery is located there.

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Records

Burial records are grouped by lot owner along with many single grave burials. There is a Directory of the Dead data sheet for each person buried in Evergreen and Memorial Gardens cemeteries.

The file for each lot contains a Directory of the Dead data sheet for each person buried in that lot, along with an obituary, if available. Anyone is allowed to provide sheets of additional information for the file, which can then be made available to others who request it in the course of their genealogy research.

Basic information is provided for free. This includes the deceased's name, dates of death and/or burial, and grave site location. Other information that has been gathered and included in the Directory of the Dead data sheet is available for $1 per name. Obituaries (if available) and any other pages of additional information will be provided for $1 per page. There is a $5 minimum per request, which can include multiple names.

A WPA project in the 1930s involved Evergreen Cemetery. This is when many Directory of the Dead data sheets for earlier burials were created using information from county death records and obituaries (where available). Subsequent burials have had data sheets created at the time of burial.

A database created in 1987 contained selected data from many of the records. The end result was a printout sorted by last name of the deceased and included the date of death and the burial location. Unfortunately, due to a computer failure, this database no longer exists. But a copy of the most recent printout is available at the Minnesota Historical Society and the Crow Wing County Historical Society.

Association Secretary Barbara Gavin, who retired in 2011, undertook the task of creating another computerized index of burials in Evergreen Cemetery and Memorial Gardens. A near-final version of this index is now available in the new online Directory of the Dead (a link to which is in the footer of every page).

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Donations

The Evergreen Cemetery Association is a 501(c)(13) non-profit organization and receives no funding from city, state or federal governmental units. The size and age of the cemetery means that the Association relies on donations from generous individuals and businesses to cover the cost of improvements and projects that are beyond normal operating expenses.

Since 2013, the Association has conducted a springtime fundraising campaign. Each year, a letter is mailed out summarizing the past year's activities and what we have been able to accomplish with the help of generous donations. All of our past Annual Letters are available for viewing online:

2013 Annual Letter PDF
2014 Annual Letter PDF
2015 Annual Letter PDF
2016 Annual Letter PDF
2017 Annual Letter PDF
2018 Annual Letter PDF
2019 Annual Letter PDF
2020 Annual Letter PDF
2021 Annual Letter PDF
2022 Annual Letter PDF
2023 Annual Letter PDF New!

If you have loved ones buried at Evergreen Cemetery or Memorial Gardens Cemetery and would like to make a contribution to help keep their resting place looking as nice as it does today, please visit the Contact Us page for the phone number to call if you have any questions and for the mailing address to which you may send your donation. A letter of acknowledgement will be mailed back to the donor for all donations.

As stated above, the Evergreen Cemetery Association has been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(13) of the IRC and as such is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. In addition, New! Evergreen will accept Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from those individuals qualified to make distributions to charities from their respective Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). You are urged to consult with your tax advisor regarding the particular tax consequences relating to charitable contributions and QCDs before taking any action.

Thank you for your support.

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Annual Meeting

The 2021 annual membership meeting of the Evergreen Cemetery Association was held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, July 20, in the Maple/Pine conference room at the Crow Wing County Land Services Building. In attendance were the following members of the Board of Trustees: President Duane Blanck, Vice-president John Boeder, Treasurer Gary Bluth, Denise Blackwell-Kraft, Fred Casey, Tom Fitzpatrick and Susan Koering. Secretary John Van Essen was absent. Also attending were Executive Director Dede Tollefson and lot owner Renee Richardson.

The terms for board members John Boeder, Tom Fitzpatrick and John Van Essen were up as of this meeting. All three were re-elected to serve new three-year terms. All Board Officers remain the same. See the Contact Us page for the full list of board members, terms, officers and committee members.

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