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Rochester Cemetery

Rochester Cemetery is a sand prairie/savanna remnant located near the village of Rochester, along the Cedar River in Cedar County, Iowa.  This remnant is also an active cemetery, managed by the Rochester Township Trustees.  This cemetery is known across the US for it's colorful springtime display of wildflowers, in particular it's display of thousands of shooting stars, and massive, spreading White Oaks.  It has often been called one of the best examples of Oak Savanna in the Midwest.

Getting there

From Interstate 80, take the Tipton Exit (Highway 38 North) and go North towards Tipton.  The first gravel road to the left will be Cemetery Road, take that and continue on it for about a half mile.  the cemetery will be on both sides of the road. 


What to see
There are over 350 documented plant species at the cemetery.  Find a species list here.  There are also many pioneer graves and gravestones at the cemetery.  Be careful when looking at the old gravestones, they can be fragile.


Articles on Rochester Cemetery

The Current "Mowing" Debate of 2006:
-November 09, 2006, "Prairie Plants to Stay at Area Cemetery," Quad City Times.
-October 04, 2006, "Volunteer Groups Help Maintain Rochester Cemetery" Letter to the Editor, Tipton Conservative
-September 27, 2006 "Rochester Cemetery is well known throughout the State" Letter to the Editor, Tipton Conservative
-September 20, 2006 "Using Current Practices, there won't be any Wildflowers",and  "Rochester Cemetery Existed before JD Invented Lawn Mowers" Letters to the Editor, Tipton Conservative
-September 13, 2006 Letter to the Editor, Tipton Conservative
-September 02, 2006 "Botanist: Rochester is Irreplaceable Jewell," Quad City Times
-September 02, 2006 "County Clashes over Cemetery," Quad City Times
-August 30, 2006 "Find the Middle Ground" Letter to the Editor, Tipton Conservative
-August 30, 2006"Community Clashes over Historic Rochester Cemetery," Tipton Conservative  - Part II

1974 Cedar County Historical Review (reprinted Editorial, Tipton Conservative 9-6-2006)


Friends of Rochester Cemetery

The Friends of Rochester Cemetery was formed in 2006 to assist the Township Trustees in the management of Rochester Cemetery for it's native species component amidst the context of it's historic pioneer cemetery.  More information will be available soon.