The story of Rochester Cemetery in Cedar County is not new, but I recently discovered this excellent article about the cemetery from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Rochester Cemetery is a controversial place. In addition to serving the county as a cemetery, it is also one of the best prairie remnants left in Iowa. Nearby residents are divided on whether to maintain the prairie, or mow it into a more traditional cemetery environment.
One of the complaints is that tourists visiting the prairie are disrespectful of the graves because they do not view it as a cemetery. However, with such a small amount of prairie left, conservationists do not want to see Rochester Cemetery’s natural environment damaged.