A brief history of Woodland Cemetery:
Woodland Cemetery is located at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Highland Avenue, and is one of the oldest cemeteries on Staten Island.
The Cemetery was originally established in 1854 through a grant of land comprising six acres by John King Vanderbilt (a first cousin of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt) and his wife, Amy, to the German Mission Church of the Episcopal Church, operating out of St. John’s Parish, Clifton. In May 1869, a group of Staten Island residents, interested in establishing a cemetery, met at the public house of Frederick Gieser (later known as Credos Hotel) on Bay Street in Stapleton. These residents organized themselves as the “Woodland Cemetery Association.” In October 1870, the Association obtained all of the property previously set aside as a cemetery from the German Mission Church and, a few years later, additional property was obtained, bringing the Cemetery to its current size of about ten acres.
Woodland Cemetery continues to operate to the present day, serving the needs of Staten Island residents as a final resting place. Like many small privately-held cemeteries on Staten Island, The Cemetery has in recent years come upon difficult times as population has changed, original plot holders have either died leaving no heirs or moved away, and Cemetery property has endured less than sufficient care. Unlike other cemeteries, however, Woodland has not been officially declared “abandoned”, but has remained “active” by having a few burials each year.
In 2004, a new Cemetery Board of Trustees was elected. Its members, either plot holders themselves or descendants of persons buried in the Cemetery, pledged to make every effort to revitalize the Cemetery and to once again make it an attractive burial ground on Staten Island’s North Shore. The current Trustees are a diverse group, from all walks of life, with different life experiences and talents. Each of the Trustees serves pro bono to the Cemetery -- meaning, they are not paid. They offer their time and effort on a strictly volunteer basis. The Cemetery holds a special place in the hearts of the Trustees; it is the final resting place for their ancestors.
Currently, the Board is pursuing several avenues to render the Cemetery grounds presentable and to obtain new funding for grounds improvement. The Board invites the community to assist with its efforts.