Old Town Cemetery (Newburgh, New York)

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Old Town Cemetery and Palatine Church Site
Old Town Cemetery, Newburgh, NY.jpg
The Robinson Mausoleum at the cemetery, possibly designed by Andrew Jackson Davis[2]
Old Town Cemetery (Newburgh, New York) is located in New York
Old Town Cemetery (Newburgh, New York)
Location Grand St., Newburgh, New York
Coordinates 41°30′27″N 74°0′36″W / 41.50750°N 74.01000°W / 41.50750; -74.01000Coordinates: 41°30′27″N 74°0′36″W / 41.50750°N 74.01000°W / 41.50750; -74.01000
Built 1713
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP June 30, 2000

The Old Town Cemetery is located in the city of Newburgh, New York, USA, behind Calvary Presbyterian Church on South Street. It was established in 1713 by German settlers from the Palatine who had settled on the site of the present city four years earlier. It is within a section of the city known as the Glebe, a 500-acre (2 km²) grant made by Queen Anne to provide for a schoolmaster and clergyman for the Germans.[2] A church built by the Palatines was located on the western edge of the site, on what is now Liberty Street. As the Old Town Cemetery and Palatine Church Site, it was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[1] It is also a contributing element in the larger Montgomery-Grand-Liberty Streets Historic District.[3]

There are an estimated 1,700 buried in the cemetery, although there may at one time have been 2,500. Thirteen hundred headstones survive today; the earliest date of death still legible is 1759. Among the noteworthy persons are former congressmen Jonathan Fisk and Thomas McKissock.[2]

The mausoleum of Capt. and Mrs. Henry "Bully" Robinson is architecturally distinctive. It was built in 1853, possibly by Andrew Jackson Davis, whose most notable work in Newburgh, the Dutch Reformed Church, stands a few blocks away. It is the only Egyptian Revival tomb anywhere to feature both a mastaba and a pyramid. It was overgrown and had fallen into disrepair until a 1999 restoration.[4]

An interesting memorial marker here is the one for Archibald Wiseman and two of his young children by his wife, Susan Clyde, located at gravesite 1-140. Somewhat of a mystery is the inscription on the marker that reports that he Died At Sea on May 9, 1853. Where, when and how he died is unknown. His widow Susan remarried in 1860 to a James McCord, a leather tanner and apparently unrelated to the McCord family of brush manufacturers in Newburgh, and she and McCord are last recorded anywhere in the 1880 Census at the home of her son, David Clyde Wiseman (who suffered from 'consumption') and his daughter Mary, who married in about 1869. Mary was the only daughter of James McCord by an earlier marriage. Susan and James' later fate after 1880 is unknown as of June 2011.

In 1803 New York amended the law governing the Glebe to include the creation of an Old Town Cemetery Commission. It consists of five members, three of them serving ex officio: the city's mayor, the local superintendent of schools and the pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church. The other two members are appointed by the state. Currently those are John McCormick and Gerardo Sanchez, whose company restored the Robinson Mausoleum.[2] Sanchez also co-chairs the Friends of Newburgh's Old Town Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Old Town Cemetery at Calvary Presbyterian Church". 2006-02-26. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  3. ^ John A. Bonafide (February 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Old Town Cemetery and Palatine Church Site". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-09-23.  See also: "Accompanying 12 photos". 
  4. ^ "The Restoration of the Robinson Mausoleum". 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 

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