About the Burying Ground

Mary Latham’s headstone is one of many sandstones in the Old Burying Ground. Image taken by Jean Held.

The Sag Harbor Old Burying Ground was a public cemetery, for all residents of the town, and many visitors, including some of the many sailors who visited the once-bustling port of Sag Harbor.

The first internment was before the American Revolution, probably around 1767. During the Revolutionary War, British soldiers camped on top of the hill in the cemetery, and destroyed many of the graves. A small battle took place on the site of the Old Burying Ground when soldiers affiliated with the American  Army attacked and captured most of the British soldiers in Sag Harbor, on May 23, 1778.

Burials of Revolutionary War veterans have been noted with American flags and flag holders.

This image of Aaron Clark’s headstone after a recent cleaning includes the American flags used to mark Revolutionary War veterans like Clark. Image taken by Jean Held.

Approximately a third of the internments would be considered minors today–falling within the ages of birth to age 18. In total, some 334 graves have been identified.¬† We believe there are additional burials, since a second cemetery was opened in Sag Harbor in 1840, due to the overcrowding in the Old Burying Ground. Stones in the cemetery include a range of fieldstones, slate, and marble, and all of the stones have experienced significant deterioration in the last decade.

Inside the main entrance to the cemetery, the Committee put up a sign with a map of the burying ground and an index of burials.

The entrance is near the intersection of Madison St. and Church St. in Sag Harbor, NY, next to the Old Whaler’s Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church is located at 44 Madison St. The cemetery is not part of the church, and it is entered near the driveway to the church, through an unmarked archway in the hedges. The archway is located behind the Revolutionary War memorials that are visible from the street. A map of the area is visible here.

 

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