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Chronology Historic Crown Hill Cemetery

1863 – 1912

September 25, 1863
Cemetery is incorporated as a non-profit, non-denominational, and non-sectarian with a Board of thirty corporators.

October 16, 1863
First 236 acres of land are purchased from three local farmers for $51,000.

December 31, 1863
Fredrick Chislett, landscape architect and first superintendent, moves his family into a cabin on the south approach of “The Crown”.

June 1, 1864
Dedication ceremony for the new cemetery.

June 2, 1864
Lucy Ann Seaton becomes the first burial with her funeral conducted by Rev. Hanford Edson.

Fall 1864
First private mausoleum for the Caleb Smith family is completed in Section 5.

February 19, 1865
Josephine Jones becomes the first Black interment at Crown Hill.

May 1, 1866
Gatehouse at the east entrance is completed.

July 1, 1866
A total of 480 burials are recorded with 71 monuments and 85 memorials.

August 27, 1866
U.S. Government purchases land for a National Cemetery. The first 707 soldiers are moved to this section in November.

September 9, 1867
A residence for the superintendent on the grounds is approved with completion in 1869.

May 30, 1868
First Memorial Day is celebrated at the National Cemetery

June 1, 1869
Grounds are expanded to 256 acres

April 12, 1871
Crown Hill Board votes to help finance the replacement of a wooden bridge over Fall Creek with an iron one so that large monuments can be brought to the cemetery.

January 7, 1875
Gothic chapel designed by D.A. Bohlen is commenced and completed by the year’s end.

November 13, 1877
Cemetery donates several lots to various benevolent societies.

April 26, 1878
Oliver P. Morton become the first of ten Indiana governors interred at Crown Hill.

January 20, 1880
First telephone installed at the cemetery.

November 1885
New Archway and Waiting Station is completed at the east gate, which becomes the main entrance.

April 30, 1886
All property south of Maple Road (38th St.) has now been purchased and amounts to 393 acres.

July 1889
A total of 157 acres on the north side of Maple Road is purchased.

April 1901
Original main entrance on Michigan Road is razed and replaced by a new west entrance of the southwest corner of South Grounds.

October 11, 1911
Forty acres on north side of Maple Road is purchased.

February 1912
Reburial of 1,100 Indianapolis pioneers is made from Greenlawn Cemetery

November 7, 1912
Autos are permitted entrance to the cemetery.

1914 – 1993

May 1914
A new superintendent’s residence is planned south of the Waiting Station on Boulevard Place.

June 1914
First sections of the brick and wrought iron fence are completed on the north and south sides of 38th St.

October 17 1917
James Witcomb Riley becomes the first burial on “The Crown”.

April 1918
The first automobile is purchased for the cemetery.

Fall 1925
Bridge/underpass Subway beneath 38th St. is commenced. It is completed by the summer of 1927

October 27, 1931
Confederate dead, numbering 1,616 prisoners of war who died at Camp Morton in the city, are reburied from Greenlawn.

February 7, 1933
Last cemetery work horses are sold

November 16, 1935
First family interment is made in the North Grounds (Section 223).

October 1942
Military bivouac or “War Show” consisting of more than 250 pyramidal tents and 2,600 soldiers is erected on the North Grounds to aid in recruiting efforts.

June 1950
Last two dwellings (including the superintendent’s home) are razed.

January 13, 1951
Community Mausoleum dedicated

April 1957
Entrance north of 38th St. opened.

Spring 1962
First of several Garden Crypts is erected east to the Community Mausoleum.

April 1968
Southwest entrance (at 32nd and the Old Michigan Road) is closed and removed.

July 1968
Ground breaking for the New Administration Building at the 38th St. Office.

May 2, 1972
Restored Gothic Chapel is dedicated.

February 28, 1973
Crown Hill Cemetery is designated a National Historical Place.

April 1985
Equatorial Sundial placed in front of the Community Mausoleum.

Spring 1988
Crown Hill Cemetery is recognized as a museum of local and state history.

Fall 1990
The Lewis E. Enkema Fountain placed inside the 34th St. entrance.

May 27, 1991
Dedication of the monument in the new military section takes place. Honors are extended to the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Fall 1992
Historic brick fence restoration completed.

Spring 1993
Crown Hill Funeral Home dedicated

October 3, 1993
Rededication of the Confederate lot (bronze plaques at this site contain the names of those interred here).

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