Holy Sepulchre Cemetery – Rochester, New York - Atlas Obscura
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Rochester, New York

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

A beautiful final resting place with some surprising residents. 

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Rochester, New York. With over 332 acres of land, this resting place for Rochester’s residents is made up of a sprawling park with beautiful Victorian markers, mausoleums and columbaria.

Its humble beginnings date back to 1823 when St. Patrick’s, the first Catholic parish in Rochester, began a small burial plot which quickly filled. Four German Catholic parishes established their own burial grounds at separate locations and then, in 1868, Rochester’s first Catholic Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid determined it was time for Rochester’s Catholics to share a common burial space. After several years of planning, Holy Sepulchre was consecrated in 1871.

Since then it has become the final resting place for over 300,000 people including a number of bishops, humanitarians and industry leaders, two New York State Senators, star of the silver screen Louise Brooks, and Catherine de Valera Wheelwright, mother of Eamon de Valera, President of Ireland. It also hosts the plot of the Tumuelty Family (alternate spellings include Tumblety and Twomblety). Francis Tumblety, buried in May 1903, was an eccentric “Indian Herbs Doctor” and a suspect in the Jack the Ripper slayings in Whitechapel, England during the Autumn of Terror.

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