I cannot figure out what 'post cemetery' means in the following site:

Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery is located approximately a half mile north of Fort Mackinac, near Skull Cave, a burial site for American Indians. The earliest interments in the post cemetery likely date to the mid-1820's.


  • The name of the cemetery is "Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery". "Post Cemetery" seems to be used in the names of many cemeteries (such as Fort Sill Post Cemetery). I'm not sure why they're called post cemeteries though. – Laurel Feb 6 '18 at 1:53
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    Consider: Georgetown University Cemetery, Riverton City Cemetery, Columbus Air Force Base Cemetery. – choster Feb 6 '18 at 3:36
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    Is it simply the cemetery of Fort Mackinac Post? – Toby Speight Feb 6 '18 at 8:23

I would guess it is called a "post cemetery" because it is a cemetery associated with a military post (Fort Mackinac).

Definition 3 of post2 in the Collins English Dictionary:

a permanent military establishment

From the Fort Mackinac website:

Today, visitors to Fort Mackinac experience a wonderfully complete example of a late 19th century American military post.

("Where’s The Rest of Fort Mackinac?", posted December 15, 2017)


  • [...]

  • Military Medicine at Mackinac: 1780-1895 in the Post Hospital explores medical care at the fort and changing nineteenth-century medical practices. 

(Fort Mackinac | Mackinac State Historic Parks)

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    Feel like this answer could be improved by elaborating on the phrase parsing. It's not the (Fort Mackinac) (Post Cemetery), it's the (Fort Mackinac Post) (Cemetery) where (Fort Mackinac Post) is an adjectival noun phrase. – Shufflepants Feb 6 '18 at 16:05
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    @Shufflepants: Having lived at multiple "posts", I would disagree: (Fort Mackinac) (Post Commander) and (Fort Mackinac) (Post Chaplain) and (Fort Mackinac) (Post Chapel) the PX is the (Fort Mackinac) (Post Exchange) , etc... Definitely (Fort Mackinac) (Post Cemetery). – AbraCadaver Feb 6 '18 at 18:18
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    Just like Hempstead City Library is the city library in/for the city of Hempstead. – David Schwartz Feb 6 '18 at 19:31
  • @Shufflepants: I didn't elaborate on it because I wasn't sure. As AbraCadaver points out, grouping "Post" with the following noun is not obviously incorrect. – herisson Feb 7 '18 at 16:37
  • @sumelic Yeah, it seemed obvious to me at first, but reading AbraCadaver's other examples, I'm not sure anymore. I suppose it would depend on if anyone ever refers to the (post cemetary), the (post chaplain), or the (post exchange) without the (Fort Mackinac). – Shufflepants Feb 7 '18 at 19:11

People die at Army Posts, and there's got to be a place to bury them...

Just as the cemetery attached to a church is named after the church it's attached to, the cemetery attached to an Army Post is named after the Army Post it's attached to. In this case, the Post is named Fort Mackinac. Thus... the Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery.

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    Doesn't necessarily mean that the cemetery has to be named "post" though, does it? – Mari-Lou A Feb 6 '18 at 16:53
  • @Mari-LouA huh? Just as cemeteries attached to churches are named after the church it's attached to, cemeteries attached to Army Posts are named after the Army Post it's attached to. In this case, the Post named Fort Mackinac. Thus... the Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery. – RonJohn Feb 6 '18 at 17:14
  • Then that is what you should add to your answer. Not everyone is European, or an American speaker.... – Mari-Lou A Feb 6 '18 at 17:17

As sumelic pointed out,

Fort Mackinac Post

is the name of a military outpost

Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery

is the name of the Cemetery of Fort Mackinac Post.

the post cemetery

simply refers to the cemetery of the military outpost

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    Repeating an answer, without even the references, is not a constructive method of answering. – Nij Feb 6 '18 at 8:57
  • I have upvoted this answer because it attempts to make the point clearer (for example, this is the first answer to contain the string “Fort Mackinac Post” not followed by “Cemetery”), and uses fewer words. I think that is of value, and not something to be discouraged. – ShreevatsaR Feb 6 '18 at 19:01

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