This beautiful and historic cemetery is a short stroll from Washington Square, behind the Newport Historical Society headquarters. The final resting place of many of Newport's early Irish immigrants, its stones reflect the name of the town or county of origin of the deceased. The cemetery was established in conjunction with the founding of Rhode Island’s first Roman Catholic church, called Saint Joseph's, in 1828. That first Catholic church, a simple wooden building originally constructed as a schoolhouse, no longer stands at this site, as it was quickly outgrown by the burgeoning parish, which today worships in the beautiful St. Mary’s Church at the corner of Spring Street and Memorial Boulevard, construction of which began in 1848. A new cemetery was also established to serve the parish and the last burials in the Saint Joseph’s Cemetery were in the early 1850s. The cemetery was restored in 1999 by the Museum of Newport Irish History, which continues to maintain the site under special arrangement with the Diocese of Providence.
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