Albany Rural Cemetery

The Albany Rural Cemetery was established October 7, 1844, in Colonie, New York, United States, just outside the city of Albany, New York. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful, pastoral cemeteries in the U.S., at over 400 acres (1.6 km2). Many historical American figures are buried there.[2]

Albany Rural Cemetery
Albany Rural Cemetery 16.jpg
Albany Rural Cemetery is located in New York
Albany Rural Cemetery
Albany Rural Cemetery is located in the United States
Albany Rural Cemetery
LocationCemetery Ave.
Menands, New York
Coordinates42°42′24″N 73°44′8″W / 42.70667°N 73.73556°W / 42.70667; -73.73556Coordinates: 42°42′24″N 73°44′8″W / 42.70667°N 73.73556°W / 42.70667; -73.73556
Area467 acres (189 ha)
Built1844 (1844)
ArchitectDouglass, Maj. D.B.
Architectural styleQueen Anne
NRHP reference No.79001566[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 25, 1979


On April 2, 1841, an association was formed to bring the cemetery into being. A committee of the association selected the site on April 20, 1844. The cemetery originally contained 100 acres (0.40 km2). This portion was consecrated October 7, 1844. Daniel D. Barnard delivered the dedication address, which was one of many given at rural cemeteries across the northeast in the years from Justice Joseph Story's address at Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1831 to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863.[3] The first interment was made in May, 1845.[4] Located near the entrance is the Louis Menand House.

David Bates Douglass, a military and civilian engineer, working in the capacity as a consulting architect, designed the landscape layout of Albany Rural Cemetery, between 1845–1846. He modeled his design of the Albany Rural Cemetery, as well as his subsequent and final one, Mount Hermon Cemetery, in a rural area outside of Quebec City, Canada East, upon his first design, the highly acclaimed Green-Wood Cemetery, in what at the time was a rural section of Brooklyn.[5] All three of Douglass' garden cemeteries have been conferred a historic status, by their respective jurisdictions.

In 1868, bodies from other cemeteries were removed and reinterred in Albany Rural Cemetery.[4]

Notable burialsEdit

Grave of President Chester A. Arthur


  • Philip Schuyler – A 36-foot-high (11 m) doric column at Lot 2, Section 29 commemorates General Philip Schuyler, major general in the Continental Army, delegate to the Continental Congress, one of the first two United States senators elected from New York, and descendant of Philip Pieterse Schuyler.
  • Two monuments within this cemetery incorporate works in bronze by the sculptor Oscar Lenz. Lenz created The Angel of The Resurrection and frieze on the Parsons family monument, as well as the relief of a seated warrior receiving a bouquet of poppies from the Angel of Death on George Porter Hilton's mausoleum.[15]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on July 1, 2015. Retrieved 2016-05-01. Note: This includes Elizabeth Spencer-Ralph (July 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Albany Rural Cemetery" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-01. and Accompanying photographs
  3. ^ Alfred L. Brophy, "These Great and Beautiful Republics of the Dead": Public Constitutionalism and the Antebellum Cemetery
  4. ^ a b Howell, George Rogers & Tenney, Jonathan (Eds.) (1886). Bi-centennial History of Albany: History of the County of Albany, N.Y., from 1609 to 1886. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co. p. 645.
  5. ^ Cox, Rob S.; Heslip, Philip; LaPlant, Katie D. (July 2017) [1812]. "Finding aid for David Bates Douglass Papers, 1812–1873" (1,191 items). M-1390, M-2294, M-2418, M-2668, M-5038, M-6083. David Bates Douglass. Ann Arbor: Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. Retrieved 2018-11-02. Returning to engineering and consulting work, Douglass laid out the Albany Rural Cemetery in 1845–46 and the Protestant cemetery in Quebec in 1848, both in the style of Greenwood Cemetery. In August 1848, he moved to Geneva College (now Hobart)...
  6. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3d ed.). McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 177. ISBN 978-1476625997. Retrieved June 9, 2020. Cremated by Pierce Bros. Westwood. Ashes buried in the Daniel Shaw lot, sec. 34, lot 11
  7. ^ Wilson 2016, p. 304.
  8. ^ "James Hall (1811-1898): Father of modern geology, founder of the New York State Museum". 5 December 2013.
  9. ^ Wilson 2016, p. 476.
  10. ^ Burial record for Gilbert Reynolds Spalding – (subscription required)
  11. ^ Wilson 2016, p. 711.
  12. ^ B., Mel (November 5, 2013). Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. (5th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1616495503.
  13. ^ Grondahl, Paul. "These Exalted Acres – Unlocking the Secrets of Albany Rural Cemetery". Times Union. Albany. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  14. ^ Wilson 2016, p. 796.
  15. ^ "Albany Rural Cemetery". Bella Morte ( Retrieved 30 December 2015.

External linksEdit