Long before its official formation in 1879, the burgeoning Rice Lake Swedish Lutheran community laid the groundwork for their future in Stanchfield Township, Isanti County.
In 1878, a visionary land purchase of 36.15 acres by the “Trustees of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Rice Lake” laid the foundation for both their congregation and, within it, a sacred resting place for their loved ones.
By 1879, a dedicated section of the land had been consecrated as a cemetery, accepting its first interments in 1880. The following years saw the cemetery evolve, with organized plots emerging in 1884 and designated family lots established in 1892 for congregation members.
Under the guidance of Rev. Carl S. Renius in the early 1900s, the cemetery’s records were meticulously organized and updated, ensuring the preservation of its precious history. This hallowed ground continued to serve both the Rice Lake and Braham congregations. Following their 1933 merger, the Braham Evangelical Lutheran parish established formal governing bylaws for the cemetery, electing a board to oversee its care.
That same year, a tribute to the Rice Lake church’s origins was erected – a granite monument marking the site of the original building.
Soon after, in 1936, a new stone gateway graced the cemetery’s entrance. A tradition of annual memorial services, rooted in the 1920s, continues today, with the gentle blooms of peonies planted as living memorials adorning the grounds.
While holding true to its Lutheran heritage, the cemetery embraces inclusivity, offering traditional burials and inurnments to individuals of all faiths. As of 2022, nearly 2,000 individuals have found their final rest within its serene embrace.
Rice Lake Cemetery is located on Rice Lake Road NE, aka Isanti County Road 4 East.
Explore historical records, photos, and final resting places, honoring lives through Find a Grave.
If you are interested in joining the Cemetery Committee, it meets the second Sunday of each month.