Mountain View Cemetery Changes Ownership

MVC Purchase - Don+

Vinton–Mountain View Cemetery in Vinton is under new management and ownership after being purchased by Evergreen Memorial Trust of Roanoke.

Workers have put the finishing touches on a new perimeter fence for the site, the first in the century old property’s existence. Next up is a complete renovation of the fieldstone cottage which was initially a chapel in the 1930’s, but has served as the office for years. At one time the cemetery office was located in downtown Vinton.

Workers from Viking Fence of Vinton recently completed construction of a new fence at Mountain ViewCemetery, now owned by Evergreen Memorial Trust.

Evergreen, which has operated cemeteries in the RoanokeValley since 1916, bought the 30-acre Vinton cemetery after its current owner, Hilda Basham, decided to retire. The cemetery is currently about one quarter occupied.

Evergreen already owns and operates cemeteries in Roanoke, Boones Mill and Buena Vista, including EvergreenBurialPark, Mountain ViewMemorial Park, Forest Rest and Green Hill Mausoleum.

“Mountain View was a good fit for our company,” said Donald Wilson, president of Evergreen. “It’s a family-owned traditional monument type cemetery like our others.”

Located on the original property of Cornelius Ruddell, a member of one of Vinton’s founding families, the cemetery was first owned by J. H. Upson family. Vinton’s largest cemetery, it was founded in the 1800’s. It is the final resting place for many of Vinton’s most prominent citizens.

According to Karla Turman, Associate Planner for the Town of Vinton, the earliest grave in the cemetery is that of Annie “Little Annie” Booth, who born on August 6, 1872 and passed away on March 8, 1874.

The new fence, constructed by Viking Fence Company of Vinton, runs along the cemetery property line westward on Ruddell Road to the intersection of Mountain View Road, then north on Mountain View to Olney Road.

The office has been completely gutted and is being renovated by Roanoke’s Cornerstone Builders, Inc., who expect to wrap up the project in April.

Cornerstone Builders, Inc., of Roanoke are renovating the fieldstone office at Mountain ViewCemetery and expect to complete the project in April.

Mountain View’s Family Service Counselor, Sandy Feazell, is currently working out of a temporary office near the maintenance area. She says she can’t wait to move back in to the modernized

office, which hasn’t seen much change in the more than twenty years she has worked there with her mother, Hilda Basham.

“I love what I do, and I love being here,” said Feazell, one of four workers at Mountain View, including three grounds workers. Feazell is well-known to area residents as a comforting presence in times of grief.

Wilson has no plans to gate the cemetery and encourages

neighbors who stroll the lanes for exercise to continue.

“The fence was added to improve the appearance and security of the cemetery,” said Wilson.

Mountain View Cemetery “facelift” gives neighborhood a new look

Vinton Workers have put the finishing touches on a new perimeter fence for Mountain View Cemetery, the first in the century old property’s existence. Don Wilson, President of Evergreen Memorial Trust, the cemetery’s new owners, says the stylish black fence adds a new and attractive dimension of traditional dignity, protection and safety to the cemetery lot owners. He also noted that the barrier will help discourage casual human and animal foot traffic through the gravesites.

The fence, constructed by Viking Fence Company of Vinton, runs along the cemetery property line westward on Ruddell Road to the intersection of Mountain View Road, then north on Mountain View to Olney Road. One lot owner, after a recent visit, commented that the new fence gave a “feeling of being hugged.”

One down, one to go. As the Viking crew completed its fence project, another contractor was beginning a total renovation and modernization of the cemetery’s iconic fieldstone cottage that houses Mountain View’s office. That job, performed by Roanoke’s Cornerstone Builders, Inc., is expected to wrap up in April. Mountain View’s Family Service Counselor, Sandy Feazell, currently operating out of a temporary trailer facility, says she can’t wait to move back in to the modernized office, which hasn’t seen much change in the more than twenty years she has worked there with her recently retired mother. “It will be a nice to see the improvements,” she grinned, “but it may take some getting used to after all these years.”

Mountain ViewCemetery is Vinton’s largest, and dates back to its founding in 1890. The full service company is the final resting place for many of Vinton’s most prominent citizens.

Evergreen Trust Purchases Vinton’s Mountain View Cemetery

Vinton – Hilda Basham, president and owner of Vinton’s Mountain View Cemetery Co., Inc., with daughter Sandra Feazell at her side, retired from the family business with the stroke of a pen, turning her landmark Vinton property over to the owners of Roanoke’s Evergreen Burial Park. Donald Wilson, president of Evergreen Development Co., Inc., signed for the new owners.
The acquisition of the 30-acre Vinton cemetery expands Evergreen’s already substantial presence in the region. In addition to its premier property, the 54-acre Evergreen Burial Park in Roanoke, the company has in recent years, under Wilson’s guidance, expanded to purchase cemeteries and mausoleums in Boones Mill and Buena Vista. The company recently adopted “Evergreen Memorial Trust” as the operating name embracing all company properties.

“I am particularly gratified,” noted Mrs. Basham, “the family-oriented service we’ve provided families will continue under Evergreen, which has its own recognized tradition of warm, personal care.” She added, “Evergreen’s high level of respect and professionalism in our industry was certainly a compelling and comforting factor in passing our business on to them.”
Mountain View, established in the late 1890s as Vinton Burial Park, currently has some 18,000 interments. Evergreen Burial Park was established in 1916 and currently has 24,000 interments. Both locations have substantial available spaces.

Mr. Wilson indicated Evergreen plans to invest in a number of improvements at Mountain View, including new landscaping and perimeter fencing. Additionally, Wilson noted Mountain View will become a full-service burial park, offering new service options and complete cemetery arrangements, as well as sales of burial vaults and granite monuments and markers. Mountain View also offers a section for burial of and memorializing owners’ pets.

In addition to Evergreen Burial Park and Mountain View Cemetery, Evergreen Memorial Trust owns and operates Mountain View Memorial Park in Boones Mill and the Green Hill Mausoleum in Buena Vista. The Boones Mill location also includes Forest Rest, the only natural burial grounds in the extended region. Natural or “green” burials appeal to environmentally conscious individuals who prefer simpler final arrangements that eliminate embalming, vaults, non-biodegradable coffins and elaborate markers or monuments.