History at Cedar Hill

Established in 1864, Cedar Hill Cemetery Encompasses 270 Acres of Landscaped Memorial Grounds.

Rural Cemetery

In the Victorian era, public sentiment encouraged cemeteries to serve a larger purpose. As a place for burial and tranquil beauty. This led to the development of the American rural cemetery.

The goal of a rural cemetery is to not only meet the needs of the deceased, but to satisfy the living through its peace and beauty. Essential features of a rural cemetery include:

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Located Away From the Center of Town

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Designed In A Park-like Manner

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Governed By A Private Board of Directors

New Fashionable Cemetery

In Hartford, the need for a cemetery that was both practical and beautiful became evident. In response, a group of prominent citizens asked Jacob Weidenmann to identify a location for a new cemetery. Weidenmann, Hartford’s Park Superintendent, selected a site in the city’s south end.

The desired location included nine parcels of land. In May 1864, the General Assembly granted the power to acquire the land by eminent domain. This marked the beginnings of Cedar Hill. The land cost about $50,000. Between 1865 and 1866, Cedar Hill expended about $50,000 for improvements.

Construction of the cemetery began in September 1865. An average gang of 82 laborers and 14 horse carts and ox teams were employed every day up to November 1, 1866. Improvements included: draining the grounds; laying out sections; building avenues; stone quarrying; planting trees and shrubs; and constructing the receiving tomb.

 

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Jacob Weidenmann, Landscape Architect

Jacob Weidenmann, who designed Hartford’s Bushnell Park, served as Cedar Hill’s landscape architect and first superintendent.

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Jacob Weidenmann, Landscape Architect

Jacob Weidenmann, who designed Hartford’s Bushnell Park, served as Cedar Hill’s landscape architect and first superintendent.

Cedar Hill History Highlights

Innovative Layout

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Jacob Weidenmann laid out the burial grounds in the modern style of landscape architecture. No copings, fences, or hedges. Each lot was surrounded by open space reserved for planting or ornamentation. This innovative layout was the guiding principle for Weidenmann’s book, Modern Cemeteries (1888).

Lots for Sale

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On July 16, 1866, Cedar Hill offered lots, varying in size from 20 to 100 feet square, to the public. The original cost was 25 cents per square foot, which increased to 30 cents in August 1866.

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George Woodward, First Burial At Cedar Hill

George Woodward was the first burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery. He died in Mobile, Alabama on June 10, 1866 and was laid to rest July 17, 1866, a day after cemetery lots went on sale.

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George Woodward, First Burial At Cedar Hill

George Woodward was the first burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery. He died in Mobile, Alabama on June 10, 1866 and was laid to rest July 17, 1866, a day after cemetery lots went on sale.