U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
III. TYPES OF BURIAL PLACES AND ASSOCIATED FEATURES
Distinctive mortuary features and burial places may be eligible for inclusion in the National Register as freestanding buildings and sites nominated individually. Others are eligible because they are significant in a larger context, as, for example, a mausoleum located in a cemetery or a family burial plot on a farmstead or plantation. Cemeteries have been included in the National Register as component elements of historic districts encompassing entire villages, military reservations, or industrial complexes, as well as in association with churches. When a cemetery is included in a larger historic district, it is evaluated like other resources in the district: it contributes to the district's historic significance if it dates from the historic period, relates to the district's significance, and retains integrity; or if it possesses significance independent of the district's. Cemeteries also may be historic districts in their own right.
A cemetery that is evaluated on an individual basis is treated either as a historic site or as a district made up of individual graves, their markers, and plot-defining characteristics. A cemetery that is a site may or may not possess above-ground features that convey their significant historic associations, but still must retain historic integrity. A cemetery district, like other historic districts, is more than an area composed of a collection of separate elements; it is a cohesive landscape whose overall character is defined by the relationship of the features within it. More elaborate cemeteries may have, in addition to the basic cemetery features, ornamental plantings, boundary fences, road systems, gateways, and substantial architectural features such as mausoleums, chapels, and residences of sexton or superintendent all requiring description and evaluation of significance.
Opposite are some of the types of properties or features that might be encountered in documenting and evaluating burial places. The list covers places for preparation and interment of the dead, commemorative objects, and a number of buildings and structures commonly associated with larger cemeteries. (for definitions, see the Glossary).
|National Register Home | Publications Home | Previous Page | Next Page|