Some people refer to this old graveyard as ‘abandoned’ but I wouldn’t totally say that. It seems to me that it’s more forgotten than deserted. Proof that it’s not forgotten lies in the fresh flags that are placed at the gravestones of a couple of war veterans.

But it’s easy to assume this is abandoned, as it sits off Eight Mile Road in Salem, with no sign, hidden in the trees and bushes, and very little written or recorded about it.
What is known about the Olds Cemetery in Salem includes the number of burials - thirty-three – with the very first in the 1830s. The cemetery was named after Reverend Ira Olds, a minister from New York who settled in the area in the first half of the 1800s. You can find members of the Olds family buried in this cemetery and many others from the early-mid-1800s.

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It’s also been called the Old Salem Cemetery, Pioneer Cemetery, and is located on the west side of Pontiac Trail just south of Eight Mile Road. Driving down (or up) Pontiac Trail, it’s easy to miss…sometimes the driveway into the grounds are visible, other times it’s overgrown and hidden…but to make it easier, the cemetery’s drive is just across the street from the Salem-South Lyon Library drive.

As you’ll see in the gallery below, many stones are broken and falling apart. The Historical Society is consistently looking for volunteer help and donations to make this forgotten graveyard remembered again! If you are enticed to visit, keep in mind – for now it seems to be on private property just off the road. If that’s still the case, then it shouldn’t be hard to get permission to explore the area. It’s in the woods and actually pretty cool.

Check out the photos below…

Forgotten Cemetery in Salem, Michigan

MORE MICHIGAN CEMETERIES:

Duck Lake and Cemetery

Vintage Michigan Graveyard Photos

The Ghost Town & Cemetery of Shackhuddle

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