Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx, NY): a Peaceful Garden Cemetery

A fascinating post (which is part of a series of posts) from Researching NYC: Past and Present about Woodlawn Cemetery. I haven’t always been a huge fan of visiting cemeteries, but this is one that I would love to check out given the number of historical figures buried here.

Researching NYC: Past and Present

A cemetery where the rich and famous rest eternally – what does that look like?  It looks like Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx!  On April 30, 2015, we toured the cemetery with the indispensable guidance of Susan Olsen, tour guide extraordinaire.  I can’t imagine anyone knowing more about this cemetery than Susan!  She was full of knowledge about those buried at Woodlawn, the details behind their mausoleums, family stories, descriptions of activities that are held at the cemetery, and more.

I especially enjoyed Susan’s explanation of cemetery history and progression in New York City.   In the earliest days, loved ones were buried in their church’s courtyard cemetery (think Trinity Church’s cemetery in downtown Manhattan).  By 1820, south Manhattan was off limits to new cemeteries, and by the 1850s, most of Manhattan was precluded from burials.  Rural cemeteries were established, such as Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, which was the fashionable…

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