12 Historic, Amazing, and Stunning Upstate New York Cemeteries
Before about 1850, most people were buried in small family graveyards near where they lived, or, perhaps, in a churchyard cemetery near where they worshipped. After the mid-part of the 19th-century a new wave of cemetery creations began with people being buried in large, sprawling communal cemeteries located far outside of town.
With this new concept came a revolution in cemetery innovations. These places outside of town became meeting places, social places, areas where people met, got married, and even enjoyed Sunday afternoon picnics. Yes, in a cemetery!
Architectural landscaping came about and these cemeteries became stunning works of natural art. You can see this in the large urban cemeteries of today. Flowering trees, miles of pathways, streams crossed by quaint arched bridges, incredible funereal artwork in stone and granite. Mausoleums the size of a small house, public buildings with invaluable stained glass and historic pipe organs and bell carillons. They are beautiful and historic. And yes, many famous people are buried in these sacred grounds.
This is a list of a dozen great Upstate New York cemeteries, big and small. With each entry there is a physical address, a story about an "amazing grave" in each cemetery, a link to the cemetery itself to reveal some history about the cemetery. Most of these cemeteries are open for public tours, and I strongly advise you avail yourself of a tour. These cemeteries hold the history of their cities and the names that you will hear along your tour will, many times, ring familiar.