With its scenic view of the Shawangunk Mountains to the west, the cemetery is unique in providing solace to those paying respects to loved ones as well as for others who enjoy walking, jogging, or just as a place of respite.
A Brief History
The New Paltz Rural Cemetery was formally chartered on February 18, 1861. At that time, the founders recognized the tradition of burial in small family cemeteries or adjacent to houses of worship was fading. In addition, the War Between the States was underway, causing a staggering loss of lives, requiring more burial space. The founders purchased this beautiful site consisting of twenty acres on Rural Avenue (now Plains Road), and in subsequent years, two additional purchases brought the total area to about 32 acres.
Today, our cemetery is a not-for-profit 501(c) corporation. An elected volunteer Board of Trustees provides oversight, sets policy, and is committed to maintaining and improving this very unique and historical site. Over 7,500 New Paltz area residents have been interred in our non-denominational cemetery. Our services have always been available to people of all faiths and all walks of life.
Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, wreath-laying ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery and 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states. This year, for the first time, wreaths will be placed on the graves of the 838 veterans buried at our cemetery .
The ceremony at 12:00 will be followed by the placement of wreaths.
All are invited to attend or volunteer to lay a wreath.