Carmine Street Lutheran Cemetery

In 1808, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Matthew purchased six lots of land on the east side of St. John’s Cemetery in Greenwich Village to serve as a Lutheran burial ground. Adjacent to but separate from St. John’s, the Lutheran graveyard was at the junction of Carmine and Clarkson Streets, opposite the northern end of Varick Street.  The property was roughly triangular, having a frontage of about 100 feet on Carmine Street and 44 feet on Leroy Street.

The Carmine Street Lutheran Cemetery in 1852 (Dripps 1852)

The Carmine Street cemetery ceased use as a burial ground in 1846. In September 1869, St. Matthew announced plans to remove the remains from the cemetery so that the property could be sold.  The removals began on October 1, 1869, and progressed over several weeks.  The scene on the first day of the exhumations was described by the New York Herald-Tribune:

By nightfall more than a dozen graves were opened.  Large crowds of people gathered around the inclosure and looked curiously through the picket fence toward the groups of workmen inside.  Old gentlemen dressed in black stood by the graves superintending the laborers who were digging up the bones of those who were with them half a century ago.  Gray-haired men came with coffin-like boxes to receive the remains of their wives and children.  One gentleman, after working for an hour, found that the bones he had did not belong to his family.  In one place there stood a casket half filled with ribs, blackened silver plates, and tresses of hair, skulls, and shin bones were lying among the decayed coffins, awaiting a second burial.

Remains of an estimated 1,500 individuals were removed from the Carmine Street cemetery and reinterred at the new Lutheran Cemetery (now known as All Faiths Cemetery) that was established in Queens in 1850.  The Hudson Park Library and Carmine Street Public Bathhouse (today’s Tony Dapolito Recreation Center) were built on the Carmine Street cemetery site in the early 1900s.

The site of the Carmine Street Lutheran Cemetery in 1911 (Bromley 1911)

Sources: Dripps’ 1852 Map of the City of New-York extending northward to Fiftieth St; Bromley’s 1911 Atlas of the City of New York Pl. 9; “Removal of Remains from the Carmine-street Lutheran Cemetery,” New York Times Sept 29, 1869; “The Carmine-St. Cemetery Exhumations,” New York Tribune, Oct. 2, 1869 p8; “Exhumation of Human Remains at Carmine-street Cemetery,” New York Times, Oct. 30, 1869.

4 thoughts on “Carmine Street Lutheran Cemetery”

  1. Does anyone know if there is list of the graves that were dug up and re-interred in the All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village Queens?

    1. Hi Owen … I wrote to All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village. Their president wrote back and said they have no record of receiving mass remains from the Carmine Street Cemetery. They do have records for about five individuals who were re-interred there. In an effort to find out just were the re-interments took place, I went to the N.Y. Supreme Court archives to get a copy of the Order allowing Carmine Street Cemetery to be dis-interred. The Court does have the File Number, but, as luck would have it, the Order was missing. I don’t have a clue as to where to look next for the remains. I did contact this website and reported my findings, but have received no response. You can look through the listings of those interred at Carmine Street by ordering Lutheran Church records at an LDS Church Family Search Center. Good luck, Judith Taber

    2. I had success with locating a relative who died about 1849 and was initially buried at the Carmine St. Lutheran Cemetery and removed and re-interred at the Lutheran Cemetery (All Faiths) in Queens, by simply calling All Faiths and asking if my relative was buried there with his wife who died in 1870. They had a record of his being re-interred there and where his initial burial had been. The only thing they didn’t have was the date of the re-interrment.

      Hope this helps.

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