The context of this effort is the more than 1,300 cemeteries, ranging widely in size, scattered across the four coastal counties of one of our country’s most historic states. As identified in a 1930s WPA era survey known as The Hale Collection, many of these sites, which include family plots and municipal burial locations, are rich in cultural significance. There is a lineage from Colonial-era graveyards to garden settings and memorial parks, with iconography transitioning from the death’s head of Puritan settlers to the later weeping willow motif.
A key question at hand involves National Register of Historic Places listing, which goes beyond the importance of sites to descendants and local family members, and includes criteria such as artistic significance and importance in illustrating early settlement patterns. An R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., cemetery specialist is addressing these issues by preparing nominations for four of Connecticut's cemeteries, and through the creation of a Research Guide and Annotated Bibliography on Connecticut Cemeteries, which along with cemetery recordation forms will facilitate future consideration of Connecticut's historic cemeteries for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.