Grove Street Cemetery

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Grove Street Cemetery
Grove Street Cemetery entrance.jpg
The Egyptian Revival entry gateway
Grove Street Cemetery is located in Connecticut
Grove Street Cemetery
Location 200 Grove St., New Haven, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°18′49″N 72°55′39″W / 41.31361°N 72.92750°W / 41.31361; -72.92750Coordinates: 41°18′49″N 72°55′39″W / 41.31361°N 72.92750°W / 41.31361; -72.92750
Area 18 acres (7.3 ha)
Built 1796
Architect Hezekiah Augur; Henry Austin
Architectural style Egyptian Revival, Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 97000830
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 8, 1997[1]
Designated NHL February 16, 2000[2]

Grove Street Cemetery or Grove Street Burial Ground in New Haven, Connecticut is located adjacent to the Yale University campus. It was organized in 1796 as the New Haven Burying Ground and incorporated in October 1797 to replace the crowded burial ground on the New Haven Green. The first private, nonprofit cemetery in the world, it was one of the earliest burial grounds to have a planned layout, with plots permanently owned by individual families, a structured arrangement of ornamental plantings, and paved and named streets and avenues. This was "a real turning point... a whole redefinition of how people viewed death and dying", according to historian Peter Dobkin Hall, with novel ideas like permanent memorials and the sanctity of the deceased body.[3] In part for this reason, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.[4] Many notable Yale and New Haven luminaries are buried in the Grove Street Cemetery, including fourteen Yale presidents; nevertheless, it was not restricted to members of the upper class, and was open to all.[3]

History[edit]

Establishment (1796)[edit]

For the first 160 years of permanent settlement, New Haven residents buried their dead on the New Haven Green, the town's central open space and churchyard. In 1794–95, a yellow fever plague swept the town, prompting James Hillhouse, a businessman and U.S. Senator, to invite other prominent families in the town to establish a dedicated burial ground on farmland bordering the town.[5] In 1796, thirty-two families purchased a track just north of Grove Street, the tract was enclosed by a wooden fence, which was prone to rotting and needed to be replaced frequently. At first consisting of 6 acres (0.024 km2), the cemetery was quickly subscribed and thereafter expanded to nearly 18 acres (0.073 km2).

Gravestones from the New Haven Green (but not the remains) were moved to the new cemetery for preservation in 1821 and are displayed against the walls of the cemetery.[3]

Gateway and fence construction (1845–49)[edit]

Completed in 1845, the entrance on Grove Street is a brownstone Egyptian Revival gateway, designed by New Haven architect Henry Austin, who is buried at the cemetery.[5] The style, popular in New England in that era, was chosen to reinforce the antiquity of the site.[6] The lintel of the gateway is inscribed "The Dead Shall Be Raised." The quotation is taken from 1 Corinthians 15.52: "For the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed." Supposedly, Yale President Arthur Twining Hadley said of the inscription,"They certainly will be, if Yale needs the property."[7]

In 1848–49, the perimeter of the cemetery was surrounded on three sides by an 8-foot (2.4 m) stone wall.

Historic Landmarking[edit]

The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[1] It was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Secretary of the Interior in 2000, citing its history and the architectural significance of its gateway.[1][2][4]

Conflict over perimeter fence[edit]

In 2008, Yale announced plans to construct two new residential colleges to the immediate north of the cemetery. In 2009, university administrators and affiliates suggested to the cemetery Proprietors that an additional gate be constructed in the north section of the historic wall that surrounds the burial ground to permit pedestrians to walk through the cemetery from the main Yale campus to the planned new colleges. In addition, the Proprietors considered a proposal brought forward by one Proprietor that would replace portions of the stone sections of the wall bordering Prospect Street with iron fencing similar to that already running along the cemetery's southern border on Grove Street.[8] The proposal, withdrawn following a public meeting, included architectural and landscaping designs by Yale Architecture School Dean Robert A.M. Stern.[9]

It is managed by Camco Cemetery Management.

Notable burials and memorials[edit]

Family plots from 1848–1850
Grove Street Cemetery angel.jpg
Gravemarker of E. H. Trowbridge and Grace Allen Quincy Trowbridge
Monument to Glenn Miller, who formed the 418th Army Air Forces Band at Yale, and made New Haven his headquarters for concerts, parades and his radio show.
South side of Eli Whitney monument
  • James Kingsley (1778–1852)—professor of Hebrew, Greek and Ecclesiastical History at Yale.
  • John Gamble Kirkwood (1907–1959)—chemist.
  • Charlton Miner Lewis (1866–1923)—Yale professor and author.
  • Elias Loomis (1811–1889)—mathematician and astronomer.
  • Daniel Lyman (1718–1788)—Surveyor, Deputy to the General Court, Court Referee, Justice of the Peace and caretaker of the State's public records.
  • Samuel Mansfield (1717–1775)—first sheriff of New Haven
  • Othniel Charles Marsh (1831–1899)—paleontologist.
  • Henry Czar Merwin (1839–1863)—Civil War Union Army Officer killed at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Glenn Miller (Alton G. Miller) cenotaph -- (1904–1944)—Jazz bandleader, trombonist.
  • Dr. Timothy Mix (1711–1779)—Colonial soldier who died on a British prison ship.
  • Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826)—clergy, "Father of American Geography". Father of Samuel F. B. Morse.
  • Theodore T. Munger (1830–1910)—clergyman.
North side of Eli Whitney monument
Grave of Noah Webster
  • Alfred Howe Terry (1827–1890)—Civil War Union Army Major General.
  • Ithiel Town (1784-June 12, 1844)—architect and civil engineer. Inventor of the lattice truss bridge.
  • Martha Townsend (1753–1797)—first interment in Grove Street Cemetery
  • William Kneeland Townsend (1849–1907)—jurist
  • Henry H. Townshend (1874–1953)—proprietor and historian of Grove Street Cemetery.
  • Timothy Trowbridge (1631–1734)—merchant, soldier and politician.
  • Alexander C. Twining (1801–1884)—inventor of first practical artificial ice system.
  • Noah Webster (1758–1843)—lexicographer, dictionary publisher.
  • Nathan Whiting—soldier, Colonel in the Seven Years' War.
  • Eli Whitney (1765–1825)—inventor of the cotton gin.
  • Theodore Winthrop (1828–1861)—Major, United States Army. First New Haven victim of the Civil War.
  • Melancthon Taylor Woolsey (1717–1758)—colonel in the Colonial Army.
  • Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1812–1889)—abolitionist, President of Yale.
  • David Wooster (1711–1777)—Buried in Danbury, Connecticut but memorialized at Grove Street Cemetery.[10] Major General, 7th in rank below Washington. Killed in action.
  • Mary Clabaugh Wright (1917–1970)—educator and historian, first woman to become a full professor at Yale.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Grove Street Cemetery". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Grant, Steve (26 December 2008). "History Disinterred". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Bruce Clouette (September 29, 1999), National Register of Historic Landmark Nomination: Grove Street Cemetery / New Haven City Burial Ground (PDF), National Park Service  and Accompanying 32 photos, from 1997 and undated PDF (32 KB)
  5. ^ a b Pinnell, Patrick (1999). The Campus Guide: Yale University. Princeton University Press. pp. 108–09. 
  6. ^ Giguere, Joy (2014). Characteristically American: Memorial Architecture, National Identity, and the Egyptian Revival. University of Tennessee Press. pp. 82–83. ISBN 9781621900771. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Frances Grandy (23 September 2000). "Grove Street Cemetery At Yale Becomes U.S. Landmark Today". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Appell, Alan (7 October 2009). "Plot-holders Slam Cemetery Plan". New Haven Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Appell, Alan (13 October 2009). "Cemetery Wall To Remain Undisturbed". New Haven Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  10. ^ The Grove Street Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 4, 2005

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]