Before about 1850, most people were buried in small family graveyards near where they lived, or, perhaps, in a churchyard cemetery near where they worshipped.  After the mid-part of the 19th-century a new wave of cemetery creations began with people being buried in large, sprawling communal cemeteries located far outside of town.

With this new concept came a revolution in cemetery innovations.  These places outside of town became meeting places, social places, areas where people met, got married, and even enjoyed Sunday afternoon picnics.  Yes, in a cemetery!

Architectural landscaping came about and these cemeteries became stunning works of natural art.  You can see this is the large urban cemeteries of today.  Flowering trees, miles of pathways, streams crossed by quaint arched bridges, incredible funereal artwork in stone and granite.  Mausoleums the size of a small house, public buildings with invaluable stained glass and historic pipe organs and bell carillons.  They are beautiful and historic.  And yes, many famous people are buried in these sacred grounds.

This is a list of a dozen great Upstate New York cemeteries, big and small.  With each  entry there is a physical address, a story about an "amazing grave" in each cemetery, a link to the cemetery itself to reveal some history about the cemetery.  Most of these cemeteries are open for public tours, and I strongly advise you avail yourself of a tour.  These cemeteries hold the history of their cities and the names that you will hear along your tour will, many times, ring familiar.

12 Amazing, Beautiful, and Historic Upstate New York Cemeteries

In the mid to late 1800s, cemeteries were first built far outside a community, rather than the traditional intimate churchyard settings of previous cemeteries. Upstate New York has hundreds of these cemeteries and they are beautiful places.

Here is a list of a dozen of the most historic and beautiful this writer has seen. Most are in large cities, like Buffalo and Syracuse, but there are some in smaller places. And those lesser known ones are equally as beautiful and historic.

For each entry on this list we have provided a short note telling of an "amazing grave" found in each cemeteries. The stories are very interesting!

Take a Look!! 11 of the Most Interesting Walking Tours in Upstate New York (Including Three Spooky Ghost Tours)

There are a wide variety of tours one can take in Upstate New York. This list explains 11 of the best, including a tour of a World War II warship, some of the oldest stone houses in North America, a castle in the middle of the Hudson River, the site of the most famous music festival in American history, as well as three great walking ghost tours.

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