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The following article on Maple Grove Cemetery was researched and compiled by Carl Ballenas from his work "The Early Years of Maple Grove Cemetery" (c) 1999
About Maple Grove Cemetery
"The Early Years of Maple Grove Cemetery"
by Carl Ballenas-
cetus@mindspring.com

National Register of Historic Places
Maple Grove Cemetery has been placed on The National Register of Historic Places on August 2004


Obituary-Theodore Archer (Archer Avenue) / Obituary- Alfred Grebe (Radio Pioneer) / More about Alfred H. Grebe / Newspaper Articles on Maple Grove Cemetery 1875-78 /1879-82/1882-88/1890-92/1893-94
The Famed at Maple Grove Cemetery / Historic Places of Richmond Hill, NY / Noteworthy People of Richmond Hill, NY

Maple Grove Cemetery was created in the year 1875 and its early beginnings are documented in numerous newspaper articles and advertisements of that time period. The newspapers used were THE LONG ISLAND DEMOCRAT and THE LONG ISLAND FARMER. Both newspapers were published for the village of Jamaica.

The section of land that would become Maple Grove Cemetery was the wooded section north of Richmond Hill in an area known as Haystown. Named after a man named Ambrose Hays who had a store on Metropolitan Ave near 130th street (which is now part of Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens). 
A railway line was built near the cemetery for people from Manhattan and Long Island to visit and bury their deceased and was called the White Pot Station because the original name of Kew Gardens Road was White Pot Road (presumably the name "Whitepot" came from earlier Dutch settlers when they had purchased the land in that area, now known as Kew Gardens, from Indians for white clay pots and other trinkets). The railway station was moved later and built over Crystal Lake where the Kew Gardens Station is now located on Austin Street and Lefferts Blvd. Most of Kew Gardens was the Golf course for Richmond Hill, built by Albon Man's two sons on land they owned.

The building of the railroad was very important for Albon Man in that it would bring people from Manhattan to Queens quickly. It was not for the average working class because many of the early houses where basically only summer homes with rooms for maids and other staff members. The mural in the Richmond Hill Library makes it seem that it was an escape for tenament denizens but it appears that this may not have been the case at all. And being such a keen businessman it's possible that Albon Man might have known about the erection of this cemetery which would help in the development of Richmond Hill as well but there is no documentation on this to substantiate. But in any case the creation of Maple Grove Cemetery definitely had a direct impact on the quick development of not only Richmond Hill, but Kew Gardens as well.
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Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, February 9, 1875
MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY
 Some gentlemen from Brooklyn have purchased the woodland north of the district known as Haystown and propose to lay out a first class cemetery with the above name on the property. The land comprises about seventy acres all hill and woodland and is very picturesque. The location is well chosen, being so far from the village as to be entirely removed from any settlement and will be near enough to meet a necessity of our village which the contracted space left in our village burying grounds has some time made apparent.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, April 6, 1875
(Two articles appeared on this date.)
 The Board of Supervisors of Queens County met on Wednesday last. The application of Wm. S. Cogswell; Esq., on behalf of the petitioners to procure and hold land for cemetery purposes, under the name Maple Grove Cemetery, the boundaries of which have been printed in the Democrat, was considered, and all the proceedings having found to be regular, the prayer of the petitioners was granted.
*****
The Maple Grove Cemetery Association having obtained the consent of the Queens County Board of Supervisors to procure and hold, for burial ground, seventy-five acres of land, between the White Pot Road and Hoffman Boulevard, and one mile west of the Town Hall, a large force of workmen will immediately be set to work grading and improving the grounds.

Long Island Democrat - Tuesday, February 1, 1876
(Advertisement and article appeared on this date.)
Notice MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY
The construction work of the new Cemetery situated on the Hoffman Boulevard, in the outskirts of Jamaica, has progressed so far that the Association are now prepared to convey lots and many interments. A considerable part of the grounds have been graded, prepared and divided into lots; roads have been made, avenues and paths have been laid out, a Receiving Tomb has been erected, and the building of the Lodge House and Entrance Way is in progress.
The Association have made provision for continuing the improvements with all possible dispatch, and for carrying out the design of making Maple Grove one of the most beautiful rural Cemeteries in the neighborhood of New York
The present price of lots are quite moderate, in consideration of the heavy expenses entailed in the construction of the cemetery, and the making of the legally required provision for its perpetual maintenance.
Mr. Noyes F. Palmer, Superintendent of Cemetery, will always be found on the grounds, ready to impart all needed information concerning the location and prices of lots. Inquiry may also be made of Mr. J. B. Everitt, Undertaker, in Jamaica. The New York Office of the Cemetery is at 504 THIRD AVENUE, Cor. of 34th street.
*****
Maple Grove Cemetery-- The reader is directed to the advertisement of this cemetery, which we publish in another column. The Association has purchased a large tract of land on Hoffman Boulevard about two miles from this village, and commenced the necessary grading and other improvements requisite to render the new Cemetery one of the most beautiful burial spots on the Island. It has frontage on the Boulevard, and also on Jamaica and Newtown road. The Cemetery at present compromises about eighty acres of land, and this area will be enlarged as circumstances require.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, February 8, 1876
Work upon the new Cemetery known as the "Maple Grove Cemetery," on the Hoffman Boulevard, between the villages of Jamaica and Newtown, has so far progressed that the company have begun to convey lots and make interments. A considerable part of the grounds, which are undulating, has been graded, roads have been made and avenues laid out; a receiving tomb has been erected and the building of the lodge-house and entrance way is in progress. The general plan of the cemetery is similar to that of Woodlawn.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, May 16, 1876
We are pleased to notice that the work on the new Cemetery, Maple Grove is going forward with all possible dispatch. The natural beauties of the grounds have been so enhanced under the management of the Superintendent that the place has already become a great attraction to the residents of Jamaica. This improvement is one that has long been greatly needed here and the interest taken in it by our citizens is evident that its desirabilities is well apparent.

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Long Island Farmer- Thursday, May 30, 1878
(Advertisement)
Cemetery MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY
----------
 The Trustees of this Cemetery take pleasure of announcing the following low schedule of price for lots:
 Lots admitting  15 graves, eligibly located,  $100.00
 Lots        "       10      "           "           "          72.00
 Lots        "         5      "           "           "          40.00
 Lots        "         3      "           "           "          25.00
 Larger plots will be surveyed to suit, at proportionate price.
 Parties desiring to avail themselves of above rates, should make an early selection.
 That portion of the grounds now ready for the conveyance of lots, comprises perhaps the most desirable part of the Cemetery.
 Mr. Noyes F. Palmer, Superintendent of the Cemetery, will always be found on the grounds ready to impart further information.
 Descriptive pamphlets can be obtained of Mr. J. B. Everitt, Undertaker, Jamaica; of the Superintendent, or at the office of the Association in New York City, 1271 Broadway, cor. 82nd Street.

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Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, January 21, 1879
Muck Free
 The Maple Grove Cemetery have been excavating a lake adjoining the lodge for the past three years during the Winter season. The deposit is rich and free from grass, weeds or snow, the top having been taken off previously. To facilitate the loading of the muck direct from the lake into wagons, the Cemetery Superintendent has made a bridge extending into the center of the lake. We are informed that the cemetery Company (will) give this muck to any one desiring it, and several of the farmers have availed themselves of the gift, and have carted it away.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, January 28, 1879
Maple Grove Cemetery Notes.
On November 12th last there was buried at Maple Grove the remains of Elizabeth R. Bronson, aged 49 years. This lady was afflicted with cancer, and died from its effects. She was a patient at the Hospital for Women, New York City; and before her death she made a will that her body should be devoted to the cause of science. On January 14th last her remains was, taken from the cemetery to the dissecting room of the hospital. After dissection, her skeleton is to be placed in the hospital.
The largest funeral that ever came to this cemetery was that of Mr. Joseph Taylor, which was January 14th last. Some four or five plots were selected by the respective members of the family. The reasonable price and easy access from the city enabled the whole family to select lots contagious to the senior member.
 The cemetery has a large receiving tomb where deceased persons are placed in separate catacombs and sealed up. No charge is made for use of the tomb to parties selecting lots in the summer.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, May 6, 1879
Railroad Accommodations.
 A memorandum schedule has been issued by the Railroad Company, showing the time of local trains to be run between Richmond Hill and Long Island City, when the Summer time-table goes into effect,--the trains also stopping at all intermediate stations. According to this schedule trains will leave the "Hill" station at 6.05, 6.30, 8.30, 9.30, 10.30, a.m.; 12.30, 2.30, 4.30, 5.30, 6.30, 7.30, 9.30, p.m.; 1.00, 3.00, 5.00, 6.00, 7.00, 9.00, 10.00, p.m.; the 11.00 a.m., 1.00, 3.00, and 10.00 p.m., trains running through to Jamaica. This arrangement, intended in part for the accommodation of visitors to the cemeteries, will prove a great convenience.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, July 15, 1879
Maple Grove Cemetery
The grounds have an elevation of from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet above the tide water, and is situated upon the highest range of hills on Long Island, and many points of the grounds command beautiful views of both Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
Maple Grove Cemetery Association is organized under the General Act of the Legislature, for the incorporation of rural cemeteries. This act makes ample provision for the proper management of the Cemetery, for its careful improvement, and permanent maintenance. It provides that the Grounds shall be used "Exclusively as a Cemetery, or place for the burial of the dead,"--forever exempting them from assessments and public taxes, and also from liability to be sold under execution, or applied to the payment of any debt. Purchasers of lots in this cemetery will receive full warranty deed with perfect title. All improvements made upon such lots will be carefully guarded, and the grass cut as often as may be required without extra charge.
 To insure foundations for monuments and headstones being permanent, such work will be done by the Cemetery, at the owner's expense. Permits and estimates for the same will be given upon application at the New York office of the Cemetery, 1271 Broadway, or of the Superintendent at the Cemetery.

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Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, February 7, 1882
Died
Palmer--At Maple Grove, on Feb. 5th, 1882, Willie Walter, son of Noyes F. and Clara M. Palmer, aged 1 year, 5 mons. and 4 days.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, January 2, 1883
Mortuary Record for the Year 1882
We are indebted to Mr. Jos. B. Everitt, one of our village undertakers, for the following burials as attended by him:
January
..........25 Premature (Palmer), Maple Grove, Yrs.--0, Mos.--0, Dys.--0
February
..........  6 Willie Walter Palmer, Maple Grove, Yrs.--0 , Mos.--17, Dys.--4.
Long Island Democrat - Tuesday, May 5, 1885

Maple Grove Cemetery
The Maple Grove Cemetery Association has just issued a neat pamphlet descriptive of their grounds, containing the rules, regulations, terms and all information needed by persons desirous of securing a plot in a rural cemetery. It is far enough from the cities (six-and-a-half-miles) to render it safe from their encroachments, yet near enough for east access. the ground is high and the soil dry, and has been laid out by the best engineering talent. Wm. S. Cogswell is president, and John H. Sutphin one of the trustees.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, March 9, 1886
Considerable Timber Burned
The woods near Maple Grove Cemetery have been burning for the past week, and several large trees have been destroyed. It is supposed to have been set on fire.

Long Island Democrat-  Tuesday, May 18, 1886
On Saturday morning, while the carriage belonging to Maple Grove Cemetery was being driven up Union ave., and in turning off Shelton ave., one of the hind wheels collasped, one of the spokes quit company with hub, and let the carriage down by which the driver was thrown out, but not seriously hurt. A young lady and small child were in the couveyance at the time but escaped injury. the horse was stopped and the carriage sent for repairs to Morrell's.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, May 31, 1887
An unknown man was found in Maple Grove Cemetery yesterday in a very precarious situation, being weak and nearly dead. It is thought he had laid where found some days as he had been seen there before. Dr. P. K. Meyhen has the case in charge.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, April 24, 1888
Death by Burning
 Stephen Wood, a four year old son of Wm. Wood, of Haystown, was playing with some companions Tuesday around a bonfire in Maple Grove Cemetery, where his father is employed. His dress caught fire and the children ran for the boy's mother, but before she could reach him he was so badly burned that pieces of flesh came off with his clothing. Dr. Forbes, of Richmond Hill, did what he could for the child, but he died in terrible agony after over four hours of suffering.

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Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, September 30, 1890
Dug His Own Grave
Frule Eklund, a Frenchman, aged 52 years, at one time in the employ of Drs. W. D. and P. M. Wood, as hosteler, but who has been engaged as grave digger and general assistant in the Maple Grove Cemetery, dug a grave in one of the rear plots last Thursday, unbeknown to his keeper. It was not discovered until Saturday morning, and not until after Eklund had been found sick with fever in his bed in the barn. He died on Saturday night, but just before he breathed his
last told of the grave which he opened for the receptacle of his own body, which was buried yesterday, as desired.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, October 20, 1891
Masonic Monument Unveiled
A Corinthian column surmounted by a globe and standing on a die and three bases will be conspicuous among the monuments at the entrance to Maple Grove Cemetery. The monument belongs to Corinthian Lodge, 488, F. and A. M., and stands in the centre of their lot. It was unveiled Wednesday, and twenty-two members of Corinthian Lodge took part in the ceremonies. A tent was spread in front of the monument where Jerome Buck delivered an oration. Mr. Buck delivered the oration when the lot was dedicated about ten years ago. The monument is of Quincy granite, and stands seventeen feet high. It costs about $1,200.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, February 23, 1892
Village and Editorial Notes
The five unidentified bodies of the Hotel Royal fire, that were exhumed Wednesday from the Potter's Field and brought to the morgue were buried Thursday morning at Maple Grove Cemetery. The bodies were pu in neat white shrouds, then placed in pine coffins. The entire expense was paid by Richard Meares, proprietor of the Hotel Royal.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, August 16, 1892
Coroner Everitt was notified of the finding of a badly decomposed body of a middle aged man in the woods north of Maple Grove Cemetery, by a party of five persons from Brooklyn, on Sunday last. Mr. Leonard, keeper of Maple Grove Cemetery notified the Coroner, and the body was removed to the Morgue and a jury impaneled. The remains was that of a man about 45 years of age, and had evidently been dead about two weeks. There was nothing in the pockets to identify the man. A package of Paris Green was found near the body and it was concluded that he had committed suicide. Unless the body is identified tomorrow it will be buried in the Potter's Field. The inquest was continued yesterday and the jury rendered a verdict of "death by suicide, administered by his own hand."

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, December 27,1892
(Article and Advertisement appeared on this date.)
Stealing Trees for Christmas
On Friday night last, a large Evergreen Tree was sawed down and carried away from the lawn of the Maple Grove Cemetery, near the station at the western entrance gate. This is mean however, as the tree was in a hedge of 100 trees, that had been for years carefully nurtured, and makes a gap that cannot be easily filled. A reward of $10 is offered for information that will lead to the conviction of the malicious person or persons who thus obtained a Christmas tree.
*****
A Reward of Ten Dollars
will be paid for information which will lead to the conviction of the malicious person, or persons, who on the night of the 22d or 23d inst., sawed down a carried away, one of the Evergreen trees from the Maple Grove Cemetery lawn leading from the Station to the Western Entrance Gate.
Apply to W. N. LEONARD, Supt., Dec. 24, 1892 Maple Grove Cemetery.

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Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, February 7, 1893
It is understood that Mr. Goodwin, at present in charge of the New York office of Maple Grove Cemetery, will succeed Mr. Leonard as superintendent of the cemetery in the spring.

Long Island Democrat-  Tuesday March 14, 1893
Louie Sloggie, the keeper of a saloon in the Meeker woods near Maple Grove Cemetery, has been arrested on complaint of the excise commissioners on charge of selling liquor without a license.

Long Island Democrat - Tuesday, July 11, 1893
Broke His Neck
On Thursday Henry Riddle, a farm hand employed by Peter Houseworth of the Head of the Vleigh, went to market with a load of produce. On disposing of the load he went to Roger's coal yard in New York City for a load of manure and in entering the yard struck his head against a sign over the gateway. He was thrown from the wagon and when picked up and taken to St. Mary's Hospital it was found that his neck had been broken. He was conscious almost to the last, having died on Friday. His friends in this village were telegraphed for. His body was brought to A. Herzog's from which place the funeral was held yesterday and the interment made in Maple Grove Cemetery. Mr. Riddle had no relatives on this side of the water but leaves some money which will no doubt be sent to his folks on the other side. He was well known as a carpenter during the time Jacob Houseworth kept the Maple Grove Hotel.

 Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, August 1, 1893
After lingering with consumption for over a year, Henry Taylor, colored, died at the residence of a friend on Wednesday last, and was buried from the A. M. E. Church, in Washington street, on Saturday afternoon. His funeral was largely attended, many white people being present. Henry, as he was called, was well-known on Long Island, where he had lived all his life. He enlisted and served two years in the late war, but was taken sick with fever and came home on a furlough, and never returned. Deceased lost his wife some nine years ago. Three children survived him. He bore an excellent character for honesty and industry. He was only the worst for himself, which finally ruined his constitution and resulted in consumption and death. He was once considered to be the most powerful man in the village, and won a wager in setting a barrel of molasses on the counter in the saloon then kept by John Lowery (at present by James Dunn). Deceased had saved some money which he entrusted in the hands of a friend, and sufficient enough to purchase a plot in Maple Grove Cemetery and defrayed all funeral expenses. He will be missed, as he was looked upon as being the happiest colored man in the place always singing and chatting in tones that could be distinctly heard for a distance of half a dozen blocks.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, September 26, 1893
Death of Theodore F. Archer
On Thursday morning, at 7:15 a.m., Theodore F. Archer, well-known from one of Long Island to the other, as an auctioneer and real estate speculator, died at his residence on Union Hall street, this village, after several weeks of severe illness from kidney disease. He was in the 57th year of his age. 
He was born in Monroe county, N. J., and had led a very active life. A wife, a daughter, and two sons survive him. He was much respected and esteemed among his neighbors. He was a member of the Jamaica Club, an honorary member of the New York State Firemen's Association and a member of Long Island City Lodge, F. and A. M. 
His funeral was held on Sunday afternoon at the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was largely attended, the church being full to overflowing. The services were conducted by Rev. Dr. Paulson and Rev. J. H. Hobbs, each of whom gave short addresses appropriate to the occasion, and very effective to those present, and should be heeded by all who heard the truths proclaimed. The choir rendered well selected music suited to the circumstances. 
The members of the Jamaica F. and A. M. Lodge, attended the funeral in a body, as also the members of the Atlantic Hook and Ladder Co. The usual Masonic services was held at the church. 
The pal bearers were John M. Crane, John H. Sutphin, Theodore Rogers, John Fleming, William Wyckoff and William W. Gillen. The remains were placed in the receiving vault at Maple Grove Cemetery, for future burial.

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Long Island Democrat - Tuesday, January 30, 1894
(Article is in a damaged condition with parts missing.)
An agreement has been made between the Maple Grove Cemetery association and ............................................................................................................... keep in order for public travel the highway adjoining the cemetery, known as the Whitepot road.

Long Island Democrat- Tuesday, March 27, 1894
Visitors to Maple Grove Cemetery will be pleased to find a fine macadamized path for their use along Leffert's avenue, reaching from the Williamsburgh road to Maple Grove station, a distance of about 2,000 feet. The work has just been completed by workmen and teams under the supervision of Mr. Beebe of the cemetery. This is a much needed improvement, and we know it will be appreciated by the many who have occasion to visit the cemetery from this vicinity.

Long Island Farmer-  Friday, October 19, 1894
The robber's cave claimed to have been discovered near Maple Grove Cemetery, and explored by Jamaica constable, turns out to have been dug by a party of boys, none of whom is over ten years of age, for a play house.


Obituary-Theodore Archer (Archer Avenue) / Obituary- Alfred Grebe (Radio Pioneer) / More about Alfred H. Grebe
Newspaper Articles on Maple Grove Cemetery 1875-78 /1879-82/1882-88/1890-92/1893-94
The Famed at Maple Grove Cemetery
Historic Places of Richmond Hill, NY / Noteworthy People of Richmond Hill, NY