Greenfield Cemetery sits between the borders of Hempstead and Uniondale in Nassau County, on Long Island, New York and serves residents of adjacent towns. The place has more to offer than being just a simple place of burial, offering peace and tranquility with its beautiful trees and surrounding natural features.
People have been burying their dead in the land that is now Greenfield Cemetery for more than 350 years. Some of the earliest settlers to the area are buried there, along with veterans from every American war since the War of 1812.
Greenfield Cemetery originally served as a family burying ground for three families back when it was founded by Freemasons in 1720, but has long ceased being exclusively for members of anyone lodge or group. It is open to all people who wish to scatter ashes or bury bodies on plots purchased from the cemetery or adjacent cities and towns such as Hempstead and Uniondale. The first African-American veteran’s section at Greenfield Cemetery was created in 1898.
The cemetery is divided into sections according to a religious denomination, with separate areas for Roman Catholics, Jews, Protestants, and the Sons of Abraham (Muslims). There is also a special section called Garden of Innocents that contains unmarked graves that were used by families who could not afford to buy their own plots.
Some parts of the cemetery are newer than others because several portions have been restored after decades of neglect due to lack of funding. Most recently Greenfield Cemetery has undergone restoration work utilizing volunteers from an organization called Friends Helping Greenfield. This group provides workdays throughout the year along with many fund-raising efforts aimed at helping restore this historical site.
The cemetery visitors’ building was constructed in 2000 by volunteers using the design of former New York State Senator Norman J. Levy, who was also an active member of Greenfield Cemetery’s board of directors. The building houses equipment for grounds-keeping crews, as well as monuments carved by local masons.
Visitors to Greenfield Cemetery can now enjoy picnics and walking tours along with their visits to family resting places at the cemetery. A walking tour brochure is available from a table situated outside the main building or can be downloaded from the cemetery’s website.
The staff looks after the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery’s 24,000 plots and 100,000 gravesites. They are joined by volunteers who help with tasks such as landscaping, gardening, lighting monuments and maintaining order within the burial grounds.
The staff also welcomes people on guided tours throughout the year, including on-site visits for school classes studying New York State history or genealogy.
In 2020 when the COVID Pandemic hit New York, a Franklin Square woman transfers burial rights to Covid victims of the disease to be buried at Greenfield Cemetery. She donated two cemetery plots to the families of the victims of the said virus. The families, although were still in the state of grieving, were grateful for having a place to lay their beloved ones to rest.
Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale, Long Island, New York is a significant landmark that has been restored and is now open to the public as a peaceful place for families to remember their loved ones.