Kensico Cemetery’s Milestone Birthday

The “living” archive of local history is getting up there in age.


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 The beautiful, 76-acre Sharon Gardens, a division of Kensico intended for Jewish burials

For more than a century, Kensico Cemetery, located off of the Bronx River Parkway in Valhalla, has served as a memorial for the County’s dearly departed. The cemetery, which turns 125 this year, has been a local landmark since 1889.

And while the staff is sure to celebrate the institution’s past, they’re eyeing the future in an effort to preserve its glory for the next 125 years, an effort that includes demonstrated dedication to family and friends of the deceased. 

The 460-acre, beautifully landscaped cemetery is the final resting place of 150,000—including Lou Gehrig, Ayn Rand, Herbert H. Lehman, and Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, among other impressive names. 

While the sheer number of high-profile inhabitants may be partly responsible for Kensico’s popularity, the cemetery does not pursue famous patrons, says its public relations consultant, Judith Mitchell. “We have no idea why they all chose this place,” she says. “It’s perhaps the biggest mystery on the grounds.”

Draw your own conclusions when you pay your respects—for the big anniversary, that is—in person. For history buffs and nature-lovers, there’s a even a cellphone-guided Historic & Scenic Tour. 

 

 

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