Where did our ideas about cemeteries come from?

Northwest Herald
McHenry County, Illinois
Sunday, October 31, 2010

The origin of the cemetery

The first rural cemetery containing winding roads and landscape was created in 1831 with Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts. Rural cemeteries like these sparked the public park movement.

Before then, burial grounds on church yards and in vacant lots were used. People weren’t necessarily buried in coffins or deep enough. The ground would freeze and thaw, and bones and parts of skeletons would resurface. burial grounds was a common practice.

By the 1830s, attitudes changed, along with the name. Cemetery meant sleeping chamber, “a domesticated haven, a place where all would be welcomed home.”

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