Hartford, Connecticut: Landmarks~History~Neighborhoods Burial Grounds: Old North
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Located in the North East neighborhood, the North Burying Ground was established on Main Street by the town near the Arsenal site. Hartford's Catholics used the cemetery until the 1860's when St. Patrick's Church established its own burying ground just to the west. Although many of Hartford's notables are burying at Old North, the cemetery has fallen into disrepair and neglect several times over the years. An 1885 article in The Hartford Courant called it "so unkempt that many owners of lots felt almost ashamed to have it known that friends or relatives were buried there." Periodic efforts have been made to restore the cemetery to a condition more appropriate for its historic status.

The City of Hartford has recently undertaken a $1.2 million project to repair and improve the 200-year-old graveyard and a Friends of Old North Cemetery group organized to provide support for future maintenance and upkeep. The group also does walking tours of the cemetery, it is a stop on Connecticut's Freedom Trail, and the SAND Elementary School uses it for history lessons.

Notables at Old North include:

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903). A leading landscape architect and founder of the American Park movement. Among his notable projects are Central Park in New York City, the Niagara Falls State Reserve and Boston's Emerald Necklace. Although he spent much of his adult life outside of Connecticut, he was born in Hartford and returned here for his final resting place.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870–1957), who began his career as his father's apprentice, and subsequently took over the business, along with his step-brother, upon Olmsted Sr.'s retirement. He developed the guiding plan for California's state park system and worked on several national park systems throughout the country, including Acadia, the Everglades and Yosemite. He was also a founding member and president of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Horace Bushnell (1802–1876), Pastor of Hartford's North Congregational Church, influential theologian, author and namesake of Hartford's Bushnell Park.

Daniel Wadsworth (1771–1848), Founded the Wadsworth Atheneum, America's oldest public art museum, in 1842. Article from the Hog River Journal in PDF format.

John Colt (1810–1842). Older brother of Samuel Colt. He killed his publisher with a hatchet and tried to ship the body to Louisiana. A widely-watched trial ensued.

Dr. Mason Cogswell (1798–1885) and Alice Cogswell (1805-1830). Dr. Cogswell began the process of establishing an educational facility for deaf persons when his daughter, Alice, lost her hearing at age 2. In 1817, Alice became the first student enrolled in the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons. A commemorative statue of her is located at the intersection of Asylum and Farmington Avenues in the Asylum Hill Neighborhood.

Joseph Trumbull (1782–1861), grandson of Revolutionary War Governor Jonathan Trumbull. He served as Governor of Connecticut from 1849-1850.
James Harmon Ward (1806–1861), a Civil War Union Naval Officer who was one of the driving forces in the establishment of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was named its executive office when the Academy opened in October 1845.

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William Wolcott Ellsworth (1791–1868) who was elected to represent Connecticut as an at-large delegate in the House of Representatives, serving from 1829 to his resignation in 1834. Served as Governor of Connecticut from 1838 to 1842.

Daniel W. Oliver (d.1901), Sargeant in the 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, an all black unit that was the first Union infantry to enter the Confederate capital of Richmond after its fall. He is one of many men buried at Old North who served in the 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and other all-black units who fought in the Civil War.

For information on others at Old North Cemetery, visit Find-A-Grave and The Political Graveyard.

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