Grove Street Cemetery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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]


Initially consisting of six acres (24,000 m²), it has been expanded to nearly 18 acres (73,000 m²). The perimeter of the cemetery was surrounded by an eight foot (2.4 m) stone wall in 1848-49, and the entrance on Grove Street is a brownstone Egyptian Revival gateway, designed by New Haven architect Henry Austin (who is buried at the cemetery), and built in 1845. The lintel of the gateway is inscribed "The Dead Shall Be Raised."; the concluding period has been called the most eloquent and sublime piece of punctuation in stone. 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." The oft-recounted (and likely apocryphal) response of many presidents of Yale is, in substance, "They certainly will be, if Yale needs the property." Immediately inside the gate is a Victorian chapel, now used as an office. The gravestones from the New Haven Green (but not the remains) were moved here for preservation in 1821 and are displayed against the walls of the cemetery. Visitors from afar mingle with New Haven residents enjoying the quiet, park-like atmosphere.[3]

Yale plans to construct two new residential colleges to the immediate north of the cemetery. Various people have accordingly 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 recently considered a proposal brought forward by one Proprietor that would replace a portion of the stone sections of the wall bordering Prospect Street (the eastern border of the cemetery and a main route to the planned colleges) with iron fencing similar to that already running along most of the cemetery's southern border on Grove Street. This proposal, now withdrawn following a meeting of the Proprietors to which the public was invited for the first time, included architectural and landscaping designs by Yale Architecture School Dean Robert Stern, among the country's most distinguished architects (who will also be designing the new colleges).

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]

It is managed by Camco Cemetery Management.

Notable burials[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
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.[5] 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]


  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 "Cemetery Holds New Haven History", Steve Grant, The Hartford Courant, December 26, 2008
  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. ^ The Grove Street Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 4, 2005

External links[edit]