The North Burial Ground (NBG) opened its gates in 1700 and is the largest municipal cemetery in the region at around 110 acres and with more than 40,000 gravestones. The cemetery is owned and operated by the Providence Parks Department and contains an eclectic collection of funerary sculptures ranging from simple slate markers to elaborate mausoleum structures.
As the City’s municipal buying ground, NBG is a place where all of Providence’s people are welcome. Buried among governors, mayors, Revolutionary and Civil War leaders, and Providence’s most prominent citizens are people from all walks of life. North Burial Ground celebrates the diversity of Rhode Island’s history by caring for the burial sites of Black people, Indigenous people, immigrants, religious minorities, and the poor.
As an over 300 year old cemetery, NBG displays the landscape and architecture of the major design and planning movements in American history. The oldest sections reflect the utilitarian characteristics of an 18th century graveyard. NBG kept up with the trends and in the mid-nineteenth century, the Rural Cemetery Movement saw cemeteries landscaped into walking parks with elaborate planting, winding pathways, and features like the Receiving Tomb and Marble Staircase entrance. Today, the cemetery’s new sections are reflective of the Lawn Park Cemetery movement, which is characterized by open vistas.
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