Batavia Cemetery

Harvester Ave., Batavia, New York

Batavia's oldest cemetery with the graves of Batavia's first settlers and early leading citizens

Photos 

Main Entrance

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in November 2020

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Map 

Street View 

Description 

"The Batavia Cemetery is located in a mixed-use area on the east side of Harvester Avenue in the City of Batavia. The property is bounded on the west by Harvester Avenue, the former rights-of-way of the Erie and New York Central railroads to the north and south, and by the property of the Graham Manufacturing Company on the east. The cemetery is roughly rectangular, oriented on an east-west axis.

"The cemetery is bounded on the principal, Harvester Avenue, side by a cast-iron fenced composed of simple spike pickets between Italianate style posts with chamfered comers and decorative floral rosettes. The south and east sides of the cemetery are bounded by modem chain-link fences; the north side is bounded by a row of hemlock shrubs.

"The Harvester Avenue fence is penetrated by four gates with double-leaf gates. The two northern-most gates are at the foot of a circular drive, now grassed over, that leads past the large granite Richmond mausoleum; a monumental cast-iron urn is located in the middle of the lawn circumscribed by the drive and fence. The gate south of the Richmond mausoleum drive provides access to the cemetery’s principal access road, that in turn provides access to the surviving ungrassed secondary roads. The road leading from the southernmost gate is grassed over and not currently in use for vehicular traffic.

"The land rises to a small knoll at the center of the cemetery. The principal spine of the grid circulation pattern traverses the cemetery from Harvester Avenue eastward over the crest of the knoll; other roadways are narrower and, in many instances, grassed over. Mature trees, probably dating from the mid-nineteenth century, line the roads. Currently, efforts are underway to replace large trees that have been removed from the gridded[sic] pattern of plantings that lines the drives in the cemetery. The cemetery contains over 8,000 burials in 629 grave plots.

"A small one-story, one-bay Greek Revival style tool and storage shed is located near the center of the cemetery. The north end of the building features a pediment supported by two Doric columns and two Doric pilasters at the comers of the building. The building is entered by a six-panel door in the center of the north wall; there are no windows in the building. The north wall and central panel of the pediment are sheathed with flush board siding; the remaining three sides are covered with clapboard siding.

"The monuments in the cemetery show a wide range of style, materials, and scale. The cemetery contains many large obelisks; of particular note is a large concentration of such monuments in the south central portion of the cemetery, near the Joseph Ellicott grave south of the Greek Revival style utility shed. While most of the obelisk-form monuments are in the classical mold, the monument to David Evans, Joseph Ellicott’s nephew and heir is modeled after a Gothic market cross. J[sic] The smaller scale stones include simple marble markers from the early nineteenth century, a large number of Romantic period stones from the later nineteenth century, a medium-sized zinc monument with small grave markers, and polished granite markers from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the decorative and symbolic motifs found in the nineteenth century stones are anchors, angels, clasped hands, draped urns, (fruit and) vine, ivy, lambs, lilies, weeping willows and wreaths."

This description and some photo captions, were adapted from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form prepared by Robert T. Englert, Historic Preservation Program Analyst of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, August 2001. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 8, 2002
Reference number
02000309
Areas of significance
Commerce; Communications; Social History; Community Planning and Development; Politics/Government; Transportation
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Site
Historic function
Cemetery
Current function
Cemetery
Periods of significance
1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • January 5, 2021: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • January 5, 2021: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description, and added photos
  • May 26, 2018: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett

Sources