United States of America, New York, Nassau County, Oyster Bay, Syosset
Memorial Cemetery of St. John's Church (Syosset, New York)
This 37-acre site was given to St. John's Church by John Devine Jones in 1862. The De Forest family, local estate owners, bought approximately one-third of this parcel from the church with the intention of creating a private family memorial park and in 1918 hired Olmsted Brothers to design it. The result, with the appearance of a park or nature preserve, includes curving paths that follow the naturally rolling land; dark, simple tomb slabs of black slate that from a distance look more like natural stones than gravestones; and low stone walls and steps that lead to and help define family plots. These plots, which are as much as a half acre in size, are also defined by the shrubs and trees the Olmsteds selected and sited. Among these are native plants such as Cornus florida (flowering dogwood), Juniperus virginiana (red cedar), Rhododendron carolinianum (Carolina rhododendron), Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel), Betula papyrifera (canoe birch), Vinca minor (common periwinkle), and diverse azaleas, viburnums, and ferns. In 1930 the family heirs (De Forests and Whitmans) sold their private cemetery back to the church, which subsequently commissioned Olmsted Brothers to design the remainder of the estates section of the cemetery.
Persons and firms associated with the property include: John Devine Jones (former owner, before 1862); the De Forest family (former owners, 1918-1930); William J. Carew (superintendent, 2002); and Olmsted Brothers (landscape architects, 1918, 1932, 1958).
The folder includes a worksheet, topographical and planting plans, additional narrative and visual documentation about the site, and a plant list from 1924.