No, it's not in Brighton, but it is in the 21st ward of the
city of Rochester. It's located on Hoyt Place which is off Winton Rd. South right next to the
expressway near East
Avenue. It of course was originally in Brighton but in 1905 the original village of Brighton, which included the cemetery,
was annexed by the city of Rochester. Please come and visit the historic
Brighton cemetery. Click on the map to find Hoyt Place:
How old is the Brighton Cemetery?
It is one of the oldest cemeteries in the area dedicated in 1821. Many of
Brighton's early pioneers are buried here while others are buried in Rochester's Mt. Hope
Cemetery which was dedicated in 1838. By the way, Mt. Hope
Cemetery was originally in Brighton.
Was there a church affiliated with the cemetery?
Yes, it was a brick building costing $4000 to build in
Brief excerpt about the history of the cemetery from an article by Ruth
"When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825 it flowed quietly past the cemetery
on the eastern and northern sides. Today that quiet flow of water has been
replaced by a never-ending flow of thousands of noisy vehicles as they speed
through the interchange of Expressways I-490 and I-590 which were built on
the bed of the old canal. Most of the early pioneers to Brighton were pious Congregationalists from New England who soon organized a church which
met in members' homes for several years. In the early 1820s they built a small
brick church (40' x 55') on the high ground adjacent to the cemetery. Sunday
services were from 10 am to noon when there was an intermission for the
noon meal: In pleasant weather the members would stroll through the
cemetery reading the inscriptions and looking for a shady place to enjoy their picnic lunch.
When, the canal was completed they often spent the intermission watching the
boats being pulled through the nearby lock. Then back to church they would go
for another two-hour session. In 1867 a flaming shingle blown by the wind from a burning Village tavern landed
on the steeple of the church which was soon reduced to ashes. Many valuable
items were saved by quick-acting church members, but the cemetery records
which were stored in the church were completely destroyed. The only record
of burials prior to 1867 was the information gleaned from the gravestones and
the names of those persons buried in unmarked graves were lost forever.
Therefore the records of the Brighton Cemetery are far from complete. A larger
and more beautiful church was built in 1868 on East Avenue in the Village, and
the church and cemetery were now separated by the canal. For years the church
was responsible for the cemetery. However In 1892 the Brighton Cemetery
Association with a Board of Trustees was formed to manage the cemetery
culminating in a complete separation of the church and the cemetery."
Interesting facts about the Brighton Cemetery
The Stone family have two of the oldest graves in the
cemetery. Elizabeth Stone, first wife of Orringh Stone, and her
seven month old son Allen, have graves that date back to 1814,
amongst the earliest transferred to the cemetery after its
The cemetery was also referred to as the "Dutch"
cemetery because many families from Holland are buried in the
southeast section. There are over 300 Dutch families and
their descendants buried here with names including
Van Der Ameele, Vandewall, etc. Many related families have
a slightly different spelling of their last names.
The Erie Canal, which made Rochester America's
first boomtown, ran along the northeastern part of the
cemetery where the I-490/590 expressway is today. It was there
by 1822, although the entire Erie canal was not completed until
1825. Click on this link to find out more about Erie Canal history in New York. Click on the picture to see
how people traveled on Erie Canal Packet boats and what it cost.
What is the blue gray Watson monument in the Brighton cemetery made
It's a cast zinc alloy, and the trade
name is called "White Bronze"
although there is no
bronze in it. There was only one
company in America which made these monuments, the Monumental
Bronze Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. They were
manufactured between 1877 and 1939 and not many were sold in
comparison to marble or granite markers. The reason was they
were looked upon as a low cost alternative and the majority were
sold before 1900. However, they proved to be quite durable
because zinc oxidizes very slowly and over the years these
monuments have held up much better than stone monuments. Also,
being cast metal much more detail could be put in them than
could possibly be carved in stone. They came in all shapes
and sizes including the tall obelisk like the Watson's. This
particular monument is the largest example of a white bronze
monument found in Monroe county. Although Mt. Hope Cemetery has
many more examples of white bronze monuments, there are no tall
white bronze obelisks there.