Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn)

Washington Cemetery is an historical and predominantly Jewish burial ground located at 5400 Bay Parkway in Mapleton, Brooklyn, New York, United States.

Washington Cemetery
Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn) is located in New York City
Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn)
Shown within New York City
Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn) is located in New York
Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn)
Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn) (New York)
5400 Bay Parkway, Mapleton, Brooklyn, New York City
Coordinates40°37′08″N 73°58′32″W / 40.6190°N 73.9756°W / 40.6190; -73.9756
Find a GraveWashington Cemetery
Washington Cemetery - office building located on the grounds of cemetery #1, at Bay Parkway and McDonald Avenue
Washington Cemetery - eastern edge of cemetery #1, bordering Ocean Parkway

Founded in King County in 1850, outside the independent city of Brooklyn,[1] it became a Jewish burial ground as early as 1857, at first serving primarily German Jewish immigrants. Brooklyn cemeteries were authorized under the Rural Cemetery Act of 1847, which allowed for the construction of commercial cemeteries outside what were then city limits. This part of Kings County was not yet incorporated into the City of Brooklyn, and the legislation resulted in the development of several large parcels of farmland as cemeteries.[2] Later in the 19th and early 20th centuries most Jewish immigrants came from the Russian Empire and eastern Europe.

Cemetery configurationEdit

Washington Cemetery is made up of five "gated cemeteries," separated by several local Brooklyn streets. The cemetery office building is located on the grounds of Cemetery #1, which was the original cemetery. It is served by the Bay Parkway station of the F train of the New York City Subway.

The founder of Washington Cemetery, James Arlington Bennet, is buried there, as are his wife and son. Bennet was born in New York, and was proprietor and principal of the Arlington House, an educational institution on Long Island. He usually is remembered as Joseph Smith's first choice as Vice-Presidential running mate in the United States presidential election of 1844, before Smith was assassinated. His surname is misspelled on his headstone, which reads, "Author of Bennett's Book Keeping & Other Works. Founder of Washington Cemetery."[3]

Cemetery #1Edit

Cemetery #1 is shaped like a pentagon, and bordered on three of its sides by major Brooklyn streets: Ocean Parkway, Bay Parkway, and McDonald Avenue. The main entrance and cemetery office building are on Bay Parkway just off McDonald Avenue. The interior of Cemetery #1 is crisscrossed by paths called Rose, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Aster, Lotus, and Evergreen avenues. It has numerical posts from number one to number one hundred and forty-nine "A" (1–149A), sections marked "ranges". It has "burial society" sections established by early immigrant groups of landsmannschaft or synagogue congregations. Burials are still being conducted here. This section houses the majority of the mausoleums and larger monuments. In December 2010, this section sustained the majority of some 200 overturned and broken headstones damaged by vandals at the cemetery.[4] Although there are concrete walkways through the area, grave markers are very closely positioned in some areas, and visitors sometimes have to walk on grass.

Cemetery #2Edit

Cemetery #2 is located across from Cemetery #1 and the office building. It is triangular, bounded on two of its sides by major thoroughfares: McDonald Avenue on the northeast and Bay Parkway on the northwest; it has four entrances and exits. Cemetery posts are numbered 150 to 237. It is crisscrossed by paths, and houses burial or congregational society sections. Its named paths are Cedar, Maple, and Cypress avenues.

Cemetery #3Edit

Cemetery #3 is located across Bay Parkway directly across from Cemetery #2. It is bounded by Bay Parkway on its southeast and 21st Avenue on its northwest. It has five entrances and exits, and numbered posts from 231 to 333. Its named paths are Orange, Sycamore, Spruce, Aspen, and Balsam avenues.

Cemetery #4Edit

Cemetery #4 is directly across 21st Avenue from Cemetery #3, bounded by 21st Avenue on its southeast and 20th Avenue on its northwest, and has numbered posts are 334 to 462. It has five entrances and exits, and paths named are Walnut, Ash, Tulip, Iris, and Pine avenues.

Cemetery #5Edit

Cemetery #5 is directly across Cemetery #4, and bounded by 20th Avenue on its southeast. Its numbered posts run from 464 to 519. Oak, Magnolia, Arcadia, and Birch avenues are its named paths. It has sections with four numbers on its west side.

List of Societies in Washington cemeteriesEdit

(partial list)

  • Adler's Young Men Independent Association – Cemetery #1, Post 60
  • Agudas Achim Anshe Wilner (also Congregation Machsika Torah Ansha Seinier) – established in 1874
  • Agudas Achim Anshe Wilner (also Congregation Machsike Torah Anshe Wilno) – established in 1899
  • Beth Israel Congregation – Cemetery #1, Post 62
  • Bielsker Bruderlicher Unterstitzungs Verein - Cemetery #2, Post 222[5]

• Bialystoker Somach Noflim

  • Bnei Isaac Anshei Lechowitz (Lyakhovichi)
  • Bnai Mosche Anshe Ullanover & Umgagend
  • Chebra Rofei Cholim M. Krakau - Cemetery #1, Post 102 (Cemetery Records & Photo of Gate)
  • Chevra Adas Wolkowisk – Cemetery #2, Post 158 and Cemetery #4, Post 371
  • Chevra Anshe Chesed B'nai Kowna – Cemetery #1, Post 81
  • Chevra Bikur Cholem Anshei Zuromin – Cemetery #4, Post 363
  • Chevra Machzikei Hadas Anshei Sfard – Cemetery #3, Post 295
  • Chevra Rodfei Zedek Anshe Ritava – Cemetery #1, Post 14
  • Chevra Shaare Benah – Cemetery #1, Post 83
  • Congregation Agudath Achim M'Krakauer, Organized in 1867 – Cemetery #1, Post 104
  • Congregation Bnei Israel Anshe Keidan – Cemetery #1, Post 144, and Cemetery #3, Post 287
  • Congregation Tifferith Israel of Brooklyn – Cemetery #5, Post 517<telephone call><to cemetery office, August 8, 2014>
  • Dobromiler Sick & Benevolent Society, Cemetery #2
  • Erster Dobromiler Kranken Unt. Verein – Cemetery #2, Post 194
  • First Brodier B'nai B'rith Congregation – Cemetery #2, Post 190
  • First Rumanian-American Brotherhood Lodge #13 (AOAS)
  • Palestine Lodge – Cemetery #1, Post 71, I.O.S.B.
  • Rumanian-American Benevolent Society
  • United Wilner Benevolent Association – established on December 24, 1888
  • Willner Brother Benevolent Association (also Miskan Bezslel Anshe Wilner)
  • Romenar Benevolent Association

Notable burialsEdit


  1. ^ a b The Leonard Manual of the Cemeteries of New York and Vicinity. New York, N.Y.: J.H. Leonard. 1901. pp. 90–91. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Scarce Brooklyn Cemeteries", The Brooklyn Ink, 28 March 2011
  3. ^ Washington Cemetery at Find a Grave
  4. ^ "Horror Show: Vandals target Washington Cemetery, toppling 200 headstones". New York Post.
  5. ^ • • Bielsker Bruderlicher Unterstitzungs Verein
  6. ^ "Mark Goldberg, Ex-Legislator, Dies - Representative of Fourteenth District for Thirteen Consecutive Terms - Sponsored Blue-Sky Law - Lawyer Also Fought for Lower Telephone Rates - A Native of This City and 48 Years Old". New York Times. November 22, 1926. p. 26. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Throng At Goldberg Services". New York Times. November 24, 1926. p. 23. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^ "75,000 At Poet's Burial - East Side Streets Thronged with Mourners for Abraham Goldfaden". New York Times. January 11, 1908. p. 1. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b French, Mary. "Washington Cemetery". nycemetery.wordpress.com. New York City Cemetery Project.
  10. ^ "Louis B. Heller". findagrave.com. Find a Grave. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  11. ^ "1,500 At Dramatist's Burial - Hebrew Actors' Union Honors Moses Horowitz, Prolific Playwright". New York Times. March 7, 1910. p. 9. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  12. ^ "David Kessler Dies; Noted Yiddish Actor - Stricken While Acting Role in a Tolstoy Play, His Death Follows an Operation". New York Times. May 15, 1920. p. 15. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Lambert Funeral Today - Heifetz and Hofmann to Play Duets at Services for Pianist". New York Times. January 2, 1930. p. 20. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Yiddish Comedian Dead - Body of Sigmund Mogulesko, Popular on East Side, In Actors' Club". New York Times. February 5, 1914. p. 9. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Besiege Rosenthal Funeral - Petty Gamblers Flock to Burial of Murdered Informer". New York Times. July 19, 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  16. ^ "East Side Mourns Zunser - Reserves of Two Precincts Called to Order the Poet's Funeral". New York Times. September 25, 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 5 July 2016.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°37′12″N 73°58′35″W / 40.62000°N 73.97639°W / 40.62000; -73.97639