Lancaster Crematorium – Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Lancaster Crematorium

In this cemetery stands the country's first public crematorium.  

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The nation’s first public crematorium and second crematory ever in the United States, can be found in the historic Greenwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

This historic building still has its original crematorium marble slab sign. The structure was constructed in 1884 by Philip Dinkelberg during a time when the idea of cremation was vastly opposed. In 1884, the Lancaster New Era wrote that it was the only crematorium in the U.S. for daily use. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1983. 

Know Before You Go

The cemetery closes after dark and the crematorium is not open to tour, but you can still drive to see the facade. It's located in the Northern area of the cemetery. Enter the front gates and turn to the left,  you will find the structure at the bottom of the hill. 

Community Contributors

March 8, 2020

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  • "Cremation: History of the Movement in Lancaster, Pa., with an Account of the Building, Furnace, Apparatus, and Other Processes" by the Lancaster Cremation and Funeral Reform Society
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