GREEN OASIS IN BROOKLYN:
THE EVERGREEN CEMETERY 1849-2008
The Evergreens is home to an amazing array of stories. From the grand swathes of history to the mundane details of everyday life, every inch of the grounds has a tale to tell. Here is just a small sample of the stories one can find hidden in the Evergreens.
The Revolutionary War
Brooklyn was an important piece of land to hold during the war of independence, and marks of our country's beginnings can be seen in the Evergreens. There are several soldiers and important persons buried in the Evergreens who were involved in the war of independence. Clink on the links to learn for more
John Berrien, revolutionary war hero
The Rockaway Footpath, the linchpin in the Battle of Brooklyn
The Civil War
Traces of the Civil War lie in almost every corner of the Evergreens' older sections. Several hundred Civil War veterans - all but one from the Union side - are buried at the Evergreens, including two Medal of Honor recipients. Many regiments from New York fought in the Civil War, and Brooklyn lost its share of sons and husbands in the bloody conflict. In addition, because New York was the base of operations for John Wilkes Booth, the stain of Lincoln assassination marks the memories of some of the people buried in the Evergreens. For examples of these Civil War Stories, click on the links below.
The Lincoln Connection, from would-be assassins to Booth's niece
The Twentieth Regiment, the all-black regiment
Brooklyn and New York City have called to talented musicians for generations, and the city plays host to an incredible number of musicians who have gone down in history as performing legends. From the music halls of the 1800s to the birth of jazz, music fans of all types can find a hero at rest in the cemetery grounds. The Evergreens is the final resting place of many musicians, some who are now largely forgotten, and some who have never faded with time. Here are the stories of two incredible musical talents from both camps.
Blind Tom Wiggins, gifted pianist, former slave, and composer
Lester Young, the President of the Tenor Saxophone
Entertainers and Artists
Larger-than-life entertainers of all kinds can be found in the Evergreens, from colorful Vaudeville stars to actors from the silent film era. One section of the cemetery is especially rich in actors, as it contains the burial plots of the New York Actor's Guild. Not all the entertainers performed on stage or screen; some contributed to the arts in revolutionary ways. Here are two of the most ground-breaking entertainers that now reside at the Evergreens:
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the best dancers of all time
Winsor McCay, the father of modern animation
Every cemetery has its share of urban legends, and the Evergreens has some of the best. Stories of the strange and fantastic are still being compiled, but for now, please enjoy our most famous story.
Reed's Tomb, the story of the man who lived in a crypt
The victims of several disasters which have made their mark on history are laid to rest in the Evergreens. Events like these, wherein many people lost their lives, serve to remind us of the changes and progress that is made only after some horrific tragedies. Monuments to these events now stand on the grounds. Here are two of the most well-known:
The General Slocum Disaster, a sinking ship that killed hundreds of passengers
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which resulted in changed labor laws
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
(located in 1 Redemption)
Best known for many co-starring roles with Shirley Temple and his famous Stair Dance.
C.K. Warren Post (located in North Mead)
Civil War Veterans Group Organized in 1880
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Monument (located in Pathside)
A monument dedicated to 6 unidentified victims of the fire, March 25, 1911.