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Applications for adoptions are available at the Massena Museum, weekdays from 10am -4 pm

Cemetery abandonment and neglect are widespread. Mostly because families have died, moved away, or the younger generation has limited knowledge of their ancestors. This leaves many cemeteries neglected and in need of perpetual care.

The Adopt A Grave program is a volunteer effort to help restore our local cemeteries, beginning with the West Orvis Cemetery. A person or group can adopt a gravesite for a small donation of just $5. There is no limit to the amount of gravestones a person or group may adopt. Each adoption comes with an “Adoption Certificate,” a photo of the gravesite, with its location, and history of the person (s).

Adopting a grave is a promise to visit the grave periodically and take care of it. Light maintenance such as clearing weeds, raking leaves, picking up sticks, tidying graves, and letting us know if the stone has been damaged.

Adopting a grave is a great way to help preserve our local history, learn more about the community, and help ensure that our dead are respected and not forgotten.

Adoptees are encouraged to share any newly discovered info. , photos, etc. with the cemetery association to be placed in the person’s file.


* Is your ancestor buried in this cemetery? Visit the museum and check out the list of names.


 If you are unable to adopt a grave, any donation is greatly appreciated.  This will help add to our fund for the purpose of resetting stones, cleaning materials, and damaged graves, which will improve the appearance of our cemetery.