St. George's is hosting a benefit fundraiser for the cemetery on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm, featuring A Talk by Gino Francesconi, Director the the Archives and Rose Museum at Carnegie Hall. Download a flier for the event here.
The St. George's Cemetery was founded in 1838 by the Rev.John Brown. The Reverend Brown was the first Rector of the parish following the Revolutionary War and the parish’s re-incorporation in 1805. The purchasing of the seven acres of land, which is bound by Washington, Federal, South William, and Clark Streets, was precipitated by the need for further gravesites for the Newburgh families. The Old Town Cemetery on Grand Street by the eighteen thirties had no room for expansion.
St. George's Cemetery is located in the portion of the east end of the City of Newburgh, which is now designated as an historic District. The location was chosen for its handsome contour that includes a prominent hill and wide sloping field. On this land Brown cultivated a variety of evergreens and deciduous trees to give shade and direction to carriage and pedestrian pathways. On the highest point of the cemetery there is a fine vista of the Hudson River to the east and a commanding view of the inner city to the north. No doubt Brown designed the cemetery with colleague Andrew Jackson Downing who purchased a plot in this cemetery for himself and his wife.
This cemetery is the resting place for many of Newburgh’s most prominent citizens including a United States Congressman, city mayors, fire chiefs, prominent architects, and clergymen, as well as lesser known individuals and families who have contributed to the life and fabric of our city. The cemetery is the final resting for veterans of various ranks in all of our country’s wars. Dennis Hickey, Congressional Medal of Honor, Civil War, is counted among them. The decay of our cemetery follows a similar history of cemeteries throughout the country during the middle part of the twentieth century.
It is well documented(New York Landmark Conservancy) that in the period that bridges the Great Depression and the two World Wars many communities were sapped of the will and financial capacity to pay proper attention to the preservation of historical cemeteries. And, in particular, the social upheaval in Newburgh in the sixties and seventies had dire consequences for St. George's Cemetery. The cemetery became a ready target for vandalism and the desecration of grave sites. It was a dumping ground for old washing machines, tires, and the daily rubbish of the neighborhood. The scenic ambiance of this historic cemetery that was designed to mirror paradise looked more like a nightmare.
In the present time the church and a number of volunteer groups work throughout the year to clean and where possible restore tombstone, gate and fences. This work is an on-going part of our stewardship.
In an effort to protect our cemetery from vandalism, the main gate is now kept locked. Please call (845) 561-5355 to make an appointment for access to the cemetery grounds.
The parish office holds complete records of burial sites dating back to the eighteen hundreds. If you are looking for the names and dates of persons buried in the cemetery, please contact the parish office, (845) 561-5355 or e-mail the parish administrator - firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not come into the parish office for the purpose of research without an appointment. There is a fee for the research.