The Lawrence Cemetery is located in a wooded area at the corner of 216th Street and 42nd Avenue, in Bayside New York, a site once prized by the Lawrence family as a favorite picnic ground called “Pine Grove.”
In this tiny family cemetery, a variety of headstones mark the final resting place of forty members for the Lawrence family, their descendents and heirs. Also buried here is a slave of Judge Effingham Lawrence, Lawrence Moccasin.
This plot of ground is part of the original patent granted by the Dutch Governor Keift of New Amsterdam to John and William Lawrence and others in 1645. The first burial took place in 1832 and the last in 1939.
The Lawrence name is surrounded with story and legend of local and national historic significance. John Lawrence, an original patentee, was twice Mayor of the City of New York in 1673 and 1691. A Lawrence married into the Washington family during the reign of Henry III of England. Hence, we find in American history, half-brother of George, from whom he inherited Mount Vernon.
Famous people buried in the old graveyard include Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence, Mayor of the City of New York (1834-37). His grave is marked by a shaft in the form of an obelisk. County Judge Effingham Lawrence’s gravesite is designated by a rectangular stone, set on a stepped-up base. Other members of the Lawrence family interred here include Colonel Frederick Newbold Lawrence who served in the Civil War and was later president of the New York Stock Exchange from 1882- 83, and Mary Nicolls Lawrence, second wife of Mayor Andrew H. Mickle of the City of New York.
Through the efforts of the Bayside Historical Society, the site was proposed for landmark status. On August 2, 1967, the Landmarks Preservation Commission declared the Lawrence Cemetery a New York City Landmark, “on the basis of a careful consideration of the history, the architecture and other features of this cemetery… [and its] value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.” The Lawrence Cemetery is maintained by the Bayside Historical Society.
Text excerpted from: “The Landmarks Preservation
Commission Report.” August 2, 1967, Number 6 LP-0630