Login / Register

Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground Class Project

This gallery features the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground. Originally purchased by the town of Flushing in 1840 to be a burial place for victims of epidemic diseases, the site was used for the following 50 years as a burial space for the African American and Native American communities, as well as a pauper’s burial ground for those who could not afford to memorialize their loved ones in a more proper cemetery, like Flushing Cemetery located just across the road. In the 1930s the burial ground was paved over and made into a park called Martin’s Field. Through the efforts of the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground Conservancy, the name of the park was changed to its current iteration in order to recognize the site’s original purpose.

Burial sites can be used to understand more about the past and present conditions of a community. Many of the forces that shaped the history of the burial ground, and the lives of the people buried there, are issues that continue to confront Queens, and our nation, today. These issues include racial and ethnic prejudice, poverty, and gentrification.

Explore the gallery below to learn more about the history of the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground. Within this group of featured items are the voices of local community members. Some sound clips were chosen because the speaker talks specifically about the burial ground or the history of Flushing.

Other clips were chosen because the speaker shares a more personal story about their lives in Queens. Consider how these perspectives inform your understanding of the burial ground and the people that are interred there. How do YOUR experiences inform your understanding of the past?

Bookmark and Share