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Pinelawn Cemetery

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Pinelawn Cemetery
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Pinelawn Cemetery
Suffolk County, New York
CountryUnited States
Coordinates40°44′49.9″N 73°23′59.6″W / 40.747194°N 73.399889°W / 40.747194; -73.399889Coordinates: 40°44′49.9″N 73°23′59.6″W / 40.747194°N 73.399889°W / 40.747194; -73.399889
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TypePrivate Cemetery
Owned byPrivately Managed
Size600 acres (240 ha)

Pinelawn Cemetery, also known as Pinelawn Memorial Park, is a nonsectarian cemetery located in Suffolk County, New York. Pinelawn is surrounded by a group of other separate cemeteries and memorial parks situated along Wellwood Avenue, including Long Island National Cemetery, Beth Moses, New Montefiore, St. Charles (Resurrection) and Mt. Ararat. The cemetery grounds span across Farmingdale, the CDP of Wyandanch, and West Babylon.


Pinelawn Cemetery was founded in 1902 by William H. Locke, Jr. on the grounds of the defunct Greenlawn Cemetery. Pinelawn Cemetery encompassed 4 square miles near Farmingdale, Long Island, almost 30 miles east of Manhattan. At inception, Pinelawn’s location in Long Island made it a model for the “lawn-park” cemetery design. Lawn-park cemeteries became popular in the 18th century as a way to move cemeteries out of major cities and into rural areas, as this reduced the risk of disease and lowered demand for space in growing cities. New York was the first state to promote this movement with the Rural Cemetery Act of 1847.[1]

Pinelawn suffered from financial challenges in its early years and faced numerous lawsuits for underpaying dividends to its earliest shareholders.[2] In 1913, the Pinelawn Cemetery Association experienced the first clash between stockholders and management. In response to these financial pressures, Pinelawn sold the majority of its land to churches and neighboring cemeteries that form the 2,300-acre complex of cemeteries that surround Pinelawn today. Pinelawn continues to pay dividends to shareholders on the basis of its plot sales, as required under New York State’s Not-For-Profit Law.[3]

A number of religious groups purchased land from Pinelawn and formed their own distinct cemeteries: the New Monte Fiore Jewish cemetery opened in 1928; the Art Deco-style Wellwood Cemetery, also Jewish, opened in 1938; and St. John Catholic Cemetery opened in the 1930s. Most notably, Long Island National Cemetery, a United States National Cemetery, was established in 1937 after a purchase of 175 acres (71 ha) of land from Pinelawn to answer a need after World War I of a large number of veterans, and not enough burial space in the urban cemeteries in New York City.[1]

See also[edit]

  • List of cemeteries in New York


  1. 1.0 1.1 "National Register of Historic Places listings for March 22, 2016" (PDF). NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES. Retrieved March 22, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. "Tyndall v. Pinelawn". CaseText. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Cemetery Regulations". New York State Department. December 20, 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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