LIVING AMONG THE DEAD

 

110 Front Street, Owego, NY 13827                                  Phone: 607-687-2460                                Email: museum@tiogahistory.org

EVERGREEN CEMETERY WALK


Held every year on the last Saturday of September.


This cemetery walking tour beings at the TCHS museum.  A bus will bring participants to the cemetery where reenactors bring to life historic individuals from Tioga County’s past.  The walking tour covers the grave sites of the individuals represented.   The tour also presents a general overview of Evergreen Cemetery.


Some history of the Cemetery:


Evergreen Cemetery’s design originates in the Rural Cemetery Movement, which was inspired by romantic perceptions of nature, art, national identity, and death and mourning. The monuments within the cemetery show the stylistic changes in building and funerary design that occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and records the history of the area and its people.


Village trustees established Evergreen Cemetery in 1851 and it officially opened in 1852. It is a nondenominational burial ground open to the public. It is the largest cemetery in Tioga County with over 9,000 burials.


Included in the cemetery is a section for the Civil War burials. Four cannons mark the boundaries of this section. A Potter’s Field is located at its lowest point. There are many burials in it, but there are only a few small stone markers. There is also a section (12) referred to as the “Firemen’s Section”.


Near the cemetery’s entrance, facing East Avenue, is a small Gothic style memorial chapel, built in 1920. Today, it is used only as a receiving vault and contains space for about sixteen temporary interments.


On Eastern Avenue stands a small office that once was used as the caretaker’s cottage. A fire destroyed the original structure in 1980, but a replacement, which looks similar, was built on the old foundation in 1986. Several additions were constructed after that.


To direct water away from the cemetery, a system of culverts, ditches, pipes and ravines were emplaced. Throughout the cemetery are a number of original iron hitching posts, installed in 1909. They were designed to resemble young saplings with the branches cut off. In 2001, a gazebo was installed near the summit of the hill for visitors to relax and meditate.


In the spring of 2002, Evergreen Cemetery was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.