History

Nestled on the western slope of the bucolic Hudson Palisades, Rockland Cemetery, established in 1847, is still largely in its natural, prime wooded condition. 80% of the Cemetery is undeveloped and affords Hudson River vistas. For all of its charm, however, this Cemetery has not been an extensively developed facility since the 19th century. The reasons for this are evident once the historical background is understood.

Rockland Cemetery was originally established with the vision of becoming a national cemetery for political notables and military heroes. The Cemetery was organized by Eleazar Lord in 1847. He was an author, educator, and first president of the Erie Railroad. Dr. Lord envisioned a cemetery that would become prominent as the final resting place for not only the deceased of the New York City area, but would be a magnet for notables on a national scale. With the foregoing as his plan, Dr. Lord brought his railroad and passengers with it to the little town of Piermont. Almost overnight, the town became a flourishing rail and water hub between New York City and points north and west. The original hamlet of Tappan Landing was renamed Piermont by Dr. Lord.

History intervened and according to an earlier chronicler, the Erie Railroad received a belated charter from the State of New Jersey requiring it to run its trains directly from Suffern, NY to Jersey City, NJ. Piermont, and Rockland Cemetery with it, was left in the backwater of progress.

In 1880, a group of Piermont residents raised $50,000.00 toward the development of roads, bridges and other necessary improvements to facilitate access to the Cemetery. There was significant interest to make Rockland Cemetery a national cemetery. General John C. Fremont was interred there in 1890 with high hope that he might be the first of many prominent Americans to be buried there

Arlington Cemetery, located across from Washington, D.C., gained the stature as a national cemetery while Rockland Cemetery was relegated to almost obscurity, only to be rediscovered in recent years by lovers of natural beauty, seclusion and tranquility.

Rockland Cemetery is a non-profit and non-sectarian cemetery. The facility and amenities afforded offer interments at moderate prices. Lot prices are determined by the Board of Trustees and vary by location. Interment fees are regulated by the New York State Cemetery Board.