The Cemetery of the Evergreens

February 3, 2009

The Cemetery of the Evergreens is one of the largest, oldest burial places in New York City. Its 225 acres straddle the border between Brooklyn and Queens, and contain the graves of approximately 550,000 people of all faiths and nationalities.

The cemetery, designated a national historical landmark, was organized in 1849. Strolling across the rolling hills and meadows is like taking a walk through history. Many notable and infamous figures are buried at the Evergreens, including unidentified victims from two of the city’s greatest tragedies: the General Slocum Disaster and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.

One unusual feature of the cemetery is Kwong Fai Toi, a section reserved as a Chinese burial ground. Many of the graves here show evidence of joss paper, or ghost money — sheets of paper, cut and printed to look like currency, that are burned at traditional Chinese funerals to ensure that spirit of the deceased has good fortune in the afterlife.

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Kwong Fai Toi

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Joss paper

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Faded, weathered joss paper

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Kang, Yu

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NG

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Wu

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Both the fronts and backs of the stones are carved

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Yee, Lau, Yu

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Chow

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Eng

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Huie

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Chan

The Evergreens Cemetery
The Evergreens: Where Brooklyn is Laid to Rest


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