Crown Hill Cemetery

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For other places with the same name, see Crown Hill.
Crown Hill Cemetery
Crown Hill Gate 064999pr.jpg
Crown Hill Cemetery Gateway, August 1970
Crown Hill Cemetery is located in Indiana
Crown Hill Cemetery
Location Boulevard Pl., W. 32nd St., and Northwestern Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates 39°49′8″N 86°10′21″W / 39.81889°N 86.17250°W / 39.81889; -86.17250Coordinates: 39°49′8″N 86°10′21″W / 39.81889°N 86.17250°W / 39.81889; -86.17250
Area 374 acres (151 ha)
Built 1875
Architect D.A. Bohlen; Adolf Scherrer
Architectural style Late Victorian
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP February 28, 1973

Crown Hill Cemetery, located at 700 West 38th Street in Indianapolis, is the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the United States at 555 acres (225 ha). It contains 25 miles (40 km) of paved road, over 150 species of trees and plants, over 200,000 graves, and services roughly 1,500 burials per year. It sits on the highest geographic point within the pre-Unigov city limits of Indianapolis. Section 10 of the cemetery is designated as the Crown Hill National Cemetery. Parts of the cemetery were designed by Adolph Scherrer.


Prior to the establishment of Crown Hill Cemetery, the primary cemetery in Indianapolis was the 25-acre (10 ha) Greenlawn Cemetery on the southwest side of the city. The demand placed on it by the normal demands of a growing city, along with the burials of both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners of war resulting from the American Civil War prompted the creation of a private board in 1863 to develop a new and larger cemetery. The board bought a farm outside the city limits and hired John Chislett, who was a landscape architect and cemetery superintendent of Pittsburgh, to design the grounds. Chislett retained many of the natural features and laid out winding roads to create a landscape in the Victorian Romantic style.[2]

Crown Hill Cemetery was dedicated on June 1, 1864. The first burial took place the next day, on June 2, for a young mother named Lucy Ann Seaton, who had died of consumption.

Previously a private farm outside the city limits, Crown Hill Cemetery is a popular picnic location and today is well known for the stunning view of downtown Indianapolis from "The Crown."

Notable interments[edit]

Grave of James Whitcomb Riley

In the young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars, a main, fictional character, Augustus Waters is buried here.


Crown Hill Cemetery is the largest refuge for animals in the city with an estimated 30+ white-tailed deer. There are also numerous species of trees, over 100 which are marked with a number that corresponds to its scientific and common names on the Crown Hill Cemetery Tree Map.


There are many artworks on the property, some of which are free-standing but most of which are associated with a grave site.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ National Park Service.
  3. ^ Hello, Crown Hill Cemetery: Resting Place for Notable and Notorious, retrieved March 8, 2014
  4. ^ a b "Indianapolis Auto greats". Celebrating Automotive Heritage at Crown Hill Cemetery (Crown Hill Cemetery). 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  5. ^ Conn, Earl L. My Indiana:101 Places to See (Indiana Historical Society Press, 2006). pg.81
  6. ^ [1] Find A Grave entry.
  7. ^ [2] CWGC Cemetery Report, details from casualty record.

External links[edit]