Thursday, May 01, 2008

An Irish Past

As some of you know, Ryan and I love Queens and we especially love living in Astoria.

Nearby, there's this random cemetery enclosed by a fence. Many of the headstones are crumbling, but the grass is the greenest patch I've seen in New York City yet. It sits basically alone, off the busy rumblings of 21st St. and 26 Rd.. There's no sign, no name, nothing. But we've walked past this cemetery for over a year now and some of the tombstones include dates from the late 1800s.

Today, while doing some research via some Astoria blogs, I found out that it's The Irish Famine Cemetery.

Apparently, it's the final resting place of about 100 early Irish immigrants to Astoria, many who arrived after the Irish potato famine of 1847. Another website, The Greater Astoria Historical Society, says the cemetery sits next to the site of the original Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the second Catholic Church in Queens. It moved to Newtown Ave. and Crescent. in the 1870s and still stands there today.

I'm a history fan and I'm a fan of all things Irish since I'm of Irish heritage, so this is absolutely amazing and bizarre. Here are some of my pics.

It needs a serious mow and some extra love. Any Astorians or New Yorkers know anything about The Irish Famine Cemetery?

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