Greenwood Cemetery is a National Landmark cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. It was founded in 1938 and inspired by Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. Henry Evelyn Pierrepont was the founder of Greenwood. His family the Pierrepont’s were farmers, merchants, landowners and developers in Brooklyn and New York State.
This and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery are my favorites in the NY area so I jumped when I saw the flashlight tour of Greenwood. We booked it through NY Adventure Club, they have cool tours around the city that are off the beaten path. Please excuse our graininess and the high ISO. We weren’t able to use a tripod when it got dark.
No one really wanted to hang out in Brooklyn back in the day, even now it’s too far for some people. Imagine the days of horse carriages and ferries. Greenwood did succeed in being the place to be in afterlife by moving DeWitt Clinton here.
DeWitt Clinton is an important part of NY history. You can read more about him here. He was the 6th Governor of NY, a Freemason, known for improving the NY public school system, and the influence around the construction of the Erie Canal. Even though he was a political star of NY, when he died, he was broke. A creditor fearing he wouldn’t get his money back got a judgment that ended up putting the Clinton family possessions for sale. Even though he had a grand funeral, the family couldn’t buy a grave site so Dr. Samuel Stringer, an old family friend and Freemason, had Clinton’s remains placed in a family vault in Albany’s old Swan Street Cemetery. After 16 years, enough money was collected to give the political star the burial he deserved. His remains were moved under a monument created by his family in Greenwood Cemetery.
The highest natural point of Brooklyn is in the cemetery, Battle Hill is 220 feet tall and was the sight of Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. You have amazing views of NY Harbor.
Another name to keep in mind is Richard Upjohn, he’s responsible for the Gothic Revival gates. He also designed the gates of Boston Common, and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor, ME to name a few.
The tour ended in the Catacombs. The doors were unlocked and we were able to enjoy the crypts to ourselves.
If you visit, check out Baked in Brooklyn across the street, it’s been around for 40 years. You can smell the aroma of bread when walking up the block from the train station. It smells so good and they are yummy. Not only do they sell bread, they sell cheeses and other goodies.
Have a spooky night.