The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

outer banks

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Flushing Cemetery, in Today’s Post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It seems that, back in 1853, the 20 acre Purchase Farm was bought and repurposed for usage as Flushing Cemetery. In 1875, the Whitehead Duryea Farm’s 50 acres were incorporated into the property, which more or less created the modern shape of the institution (there were a few minor additions added here and there). Flushing is a bit of the “unknown country” for me, and I usually just refer people to Queens Borough Historian and Flushing native Dr. Jack Eichenbaum when the subject arises.

Not too long ago, my pal Cav and I jumped into his “automobile” and went to check Flushing Cemetery out as the best curative for ignorance is investigation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cursory research reveal there to be around 41,000 people whose last address is here. There are several notables, including musicians, actors, and revered statesmen interred in Flushing Cemetery. The place was in a VERY good state of repair during my visit to the place during the last weeks of 2016’s winter.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The plots and sections we visited revealed a large number of German sounding names on them, and the dates on the monuments ran a gamut from the middle 19th to early 21st centuries.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The marble monuments showed the “rotting” sort of decay that is caused by acid rain and subsequent water infiltration, causing their carven screeds to be obscured, unreadable, or lost. You see this sort of thing in a more advanced form at Calvary Cemetery in Blissville, where certain monuments have the appearance of melted ice cream. Observationally, granite monuments seem to endure longer in NYC’s peculiar and polluted atmospherics.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The fellow who plotted out the cemetery back in 1853 was a Civil Engineer named Horace Daniels, and he seems to have embraced using a lot of curving paths. It’s likely there’s a ton of original design elements missing from the scene above – railings, statuary, plantings, etc.

Flushing used to be known for horticulture, “back in the day.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Bowne plot was stumbled upon, specifically the Walter Bowne one. Yes, Bowne House, Bowne Street.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I won’t attempt to tell you anything else about the Bownes, as Flushing is outside of my area of expertise.

I just came here on a day trip, and would advise that you seek out and chat with Dr. Jack Eichenbaum. Dr. Jack can discuss the Bownes in greater detail and scope than I can. The East River and Newtown Creek coastlines are where my knowledge of Queens history is both detailed and well studied.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Quite Lovely” thought a humble narrator, upon noticing a surviving iron railing on the Bowne Plot, with its cast iron chains designed with the appearance of a tasseled rope.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. OK, I’ll bite. Edward Bowne. Born in 1857 and died in 1820?

    georgetheatheist . . . Lemme see now.

    March 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    • I think it says 1920

      Michael

      March 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      • Damn that acid rain and water infiltration!

        georgetheatheist . . . Lemme see now.

        March 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm

  2. I thought it looked like 1820 too.

    Jaye Haviland

    March 24, 2016 at 3:11 pm


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