Visit historic cemeteries and explore the art of gravestone rubbing
Instead of telling spooky stories in preparation for All Hallows' Eve, visit Connecticut's historic graveyards. Go equipped with paper, masking tape and dark colored crayons. Turn it into an adventure for your family— send your kids off in search of the oldest grave, most unusual name, or intricate design and have them do a rubbing as a keep sake or proof of the winning discovery. Always remember that graveyards are sacred places and should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
Before you head off to the cemetery read the Association for Gravestone Studies' Do's and Don'ts for Gravestone Rubbings such as, "Rub only solid stones in good condition" and "Make certain that your paper covers the entire face of the stone; secure with masking tape" so that you don't write on the stone itself.
Check out the interesting Facts about Inscriptions; such as, the fact that many words and names were often phonetically spelled; and if it is written in Old English an "f" is meant as an "s". So Mifs is really Miss.
Find out about the various styles of headstones, like Death's Head and Angel's Head.
Historic Cemeteries in Connecticut
Located Old Greenwich was a Puritan cemetery that was purchased from the Native Americans in 1640. In addition to Greenwich settlers buried at Tomace, so are Veterans from the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812 and the Civil War.
Tomac Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870
Platt Burial Ground
Maintained by the town of Westport and the Westport Garden Club is a family burial site with gravestones dating back to the early 19th Century.
Westport Avenue (US 1) right at the border of Norwalk and Westport, CT
Located in Hartford has many famous and notable grave sites like Civil War Soldiers, artists, actresses, Katharine Hepburn, businessman, JP Morgan, poet Wallace Stevens and hundreds more. On Friday, October 28 the Haunted History Lantern Tours depart every 15 minutes beginning at 6:00pm. Admission: $12.00 per person with reservations; $15.00 per person at the door pending space availability. It's the only night of the year that the cemetery is open after dark. Led by lantern light, visit the final resting places of some of Cedar Hill’s notable and not-so-notable residents. Character actors will share their true-yet-darker-tales. Reservations are required for specific time slots. Book your reservations early (860) 956-3311.
Please note: This tour may NOT be suitable for children under 13. Wear appropriate walking shoes and bring a flashlight.
453 Fairfield Avenue in Hartford, CT (860) 956-3311
Located in Hartford is the oldest historical site in the city. From 1640, four years after the arrival of the first English settlers, until the early 1800s, it was Hartford's first and foremost graveyard. The oldest gravestone is believed to be that for Timothy Stanley, who died in 1648.
60 Gold Street in Hartford, CT (860) 561-2585.
Located in Hartford is the city's second oldest cemetery with burials dating back to the late 18th Century.
400 Maple Avenue in Hartford, CT.
Find more historic Connecticut Cemeteries including Fairfield County's historic cemeteries.
Contact your town's Historical Society for more information about your town's history including information about historic cemeteries and their residents.
For more information about protecting and preserving Connecticut's old burying grounds visit Connecticut Gravestone Network.