The history of the Hamptons is told through its people, from the Native Americans here from time immemorial, to the colonists scratching out farms, to the Revolutionary patriots, to the whalers and fishermen, to the artists arriving in the 19th century and beyond, to the wealthy summer folks. Many of them are still here, memorialized in some of our fascinating cemeteries. We find visiting cemeteries a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours—try it sometime and pay tribute to your Hamptons forebears.Read More
Map: Interesting Cemeteries of the Hamptons
Fort Hill Cemetery
Located on a bluff just west of Montauk Manor, the 30-acre cemetery overlooks Fort Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of Montauketts have been buried here. This was the site of the Montauketts’ crushing defeat by the Narragansetts in 1654. The boulder in the center of the driveway is known as Council Rock, where the Montauketts met.
Indian Burying Ground
This is a small burial ground now within Theodore Roosevelt County Park. The only engraved stone is that of Stephen “Talkhouse” Pharoah, a Montaukett (c. 1821-1879) famous for his 25-50 mile daily round trip walks from Montauk to East Hampton and Sag Harbor. He was exhibited in New York City as “the Last King of the Montauketts,” by PT Barnum, which he wasn’t.
Green River Cemetery
Green River started as a modest burial ground in 1902 for Bonackers. But after Jackson Pollock drove into a tree in 1956, his grave made Green River famous. Since then about 30 writers and painters have been buried near Pollock, some with no connection to the area. When John O'Hara was buried in the cemetery in 1966, Pollock's widow Lee Krasner protested, ''He's not even a summer rental.” Yup, Krasner is there now too, as are Stuart Davis, Elaine de Kooning, Charles Gwathmey, Frank O'Hara and Alan Pakula. Courtney Sale Ross engendered controversy and criticism when she bought 110 grave plots after the death of her CEO husband Steven J. Ross, for hogging the plots.
Cedar Lawn Cemetery
In operation since 1893, this cemetery is nondenominational. Famous interments here include Impressionist painter Childe Hassam, writer Joseph Heller, and Alger Hiss, who was accused of being a Soviet spy.
Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
A number of members of the Bouvier family, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ family, are buried here, including her father, some of her grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as her aunt Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale, immortalized in Grey Gardens. Philip Barry Sr, playwright, who wrote "The Philadelphia Story" and "Holiday" is also buried here.
North End Cemetery
North End Cemetery is home to the graves of East Hampton residents who served in the wars of Independence, 1812, Civil War and both World Wars.
South End Cemetery
South End is the oldest graveyard in East Hampton. The oldest original headstone is that of Thomas James, who died in 1696. (Lion Gardiner, who is also buried here, died in 1663 but his marker dates from 1886.) There are plenty of Gardiners to be found here as well as many of the first families of East Hampton. Possibly the most famous inhabitants are Sara and Gerald Murphy, 1920s social scenesters, artist and model, and inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald characters Nicole and Dick Driver in Tender is the Night.
Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Names on the graves here read like the history of Shelter Island from colonial times to the present: Manwaring, Congdon, Dering, Chase, Bowditch, Dickerson, Gardiner, Cartwright, Tuthill and more.
North Sea Burying Ground
Headstones here date from the mid-18th century and some plots feature elaborate Victorian ironwork. Emma Rose Elliston, who died in 1933 and spent her childhood aboard the whale ship of her father, Capt. Jetur R. Rose, is buried here.
North End Graveyard and Burial Ground
The North End Graveyard was opened by Southampton Town in the early 1700s. The earliest surviving interment is that of John Heldreth, whose headstone reads: “Here lyes the body of John Heldreth Deseseed October the first 1722 eaged about 20 year.” Many Revolutionary War soldiers are buried here.
Old Southampton Burial Ground
Dating from around 1655 to 1897, the Old Southampton Burial Ground contains some of Southampton’s earliest inhabitants. There aren’t many headstones left—some were wooden and some graves were unmarked. The oldest grave is that of Edward Howell (1655); others from the 17th century period include Thurston Raynor (1667), John Woodruffe (1670) and Abigail Halsey (1696).
Opened in 1885, this nondenominational cemetery is the final resting place of boxer Jack Dempsey, ABC sports and news honcho Roone Arledge, and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, sister of John F. Kennedy.