"Grove Street cemetery" Top 5 Page for this destination New Haven Things to Do Tip by leics
New Haven Things to Do: 58 reviews and 108 photos
This is 'the first chartered burial ground in the United states' and is definitely worth visiting.
At first, New Haven residents were buried on The Green (around 5000 of them still lie there). But a yellow fever epidemic meant the place was simply too crowded, so a new burial ground had to be organised. Grove Street cemetery was created. The first burial there took place in 1797.
I wandered the cemetery with great pleasure. The sub-ancient-Egyptian gateway leads to a large area of greenery, with trees shading the neat rows of gravestone, tombs and markers. I was looking at the cemetery map on the small building behind the entrance when a lady pooped out and provided me with the same map in leaflet form. With interesting graves marked on it, and information about the citizens they contain, I found this really useful.
Eli Whitney, of cotton gin fame, is buried here. As are numerous important national and Yale figures.
But, for me, the real interest lies in the north-western corner. There. set along the walls, you will find the gravestones which once stood on The Green...gravestones for those very early New Haven residents who died before the cemetery existed. It's worth spending time reading these: it was a different3tme, and often a harsh life, but some citizens reached ripe old age. Many more, sadly, died when they were very youn.
As with all such cemeteries and graveyards it is interesting to notice the changes in fashion for grave markers. From sphinkes to obeslisks, from table tombs to skull & crossbones.....they are all here. The only thing i missed form an English churchyard of the same era were the angels, draped in glorious array and often looking over the tomb they mark. Perhaps they were never the fashion in the US?
Grove Street is not an exclusively Christian cemetery; it is for all citizens. I saw several Jewish graves as I wandered.
Well worth an hour or so of your time. Click 'tours' on the website and you'll find not only the timings of tours but also their transcripts, so you can do the tour by yourself if you wish.
Address: Grove Street
Directions: To the north of the Green. Walk along College Street to the north and turn left along Grove street. Cemetery will be on your right.
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