Prospect Cemetery, the oldest burial ground in Queens, held its annual preservation program on Tuesday with the help of local organizations.
Members of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Historic Fund, along with eight French and American volunteers and interns, helped repair some of the Jamaica burial ground by erecting toppled headstones, leveling bases and securing the tombstones to the bases.
“It’s wonderful to have Green-Wood’s help in our cemetery revitalization initiative,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “The conservancy and our partners have made great strides in recent years to preserve and conserve the important cultural resource.”
Prospect Cemetery, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, was a colonial burial ground when it first opened, with tombstones dating back to 1668. It is the resting place of some of Queens’ most prominent families with such names as Van Wyck, Sutphin and Brinkerhoff. The cemetery is owned by the city’s Parks Department which has been making preservation strides for the site for the last 15 years.
“With its rich 346-year-old history and picturesque tombstones, Prospect Cemetery is an important part of the New York landscape,” said Richard Moylan, president of Green-Wood. “Green-Wood is proud to reach across the borough and contribute to Prospect’s ongoing preservation work.”