by Stephen Allen Dodge
(Robert Edward, Robert Arnold, Warren Arnold, Arnold Robert, Robert J., William, WIlliam Samuel, Samuel, William, Tristram)
|February 28, 2001
What a beautiful place
After gathering information from Death Certificates
and learning that a lot of my ancestors are
buried in Greenwood Cemetery, I decided to
make a trip to this location, as I live only
40 minutes away.
Well, after driving 40 minutes, and sitting in traffic another 30 minutes, I'm only half way there. As I sit stuck in traffic on the Verrazano Bridge overlooking this massive City called Brooklyn, I'm wondering what this Cemetery looks like as I have never seen or heard of Greenwood Cemetery.
My first thoughts of a cemetery in this area are of a 4 block square, fenced in, noise, pollution, garbage, people & apartments all around. (I live in Linden NJ and work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard)
WOW, Was I surprised! I was simply amazed at this beautiful Garden with rolling hills throughout and forever winding roads that can take you hours just to drive them. After entering at the Main Entrance on 5th Avenue and 25th Street, I was directed to a help-your-self database where you can obtain the burial date, burial location, first & middle names if you are unsure, & other deceased that share your surname.
Here you can print out a map directing you to the location of the deceased you are looking for; all this without speaking to anyone. On the printed map, your route is highlighted and driveable for easy access. This will take you to the area of your family member. Start Searching the plots within the Square highlighted on the map for your Family member. At the bottom of the printed map is the Section and Lot number. I found this to be of no help what-so ever. (just my opinion) What makes your search even harder is your eyes are constantly being distracted by the beauty of this place. All around you, no matter what section you're in, your eyes constantly focus on the nearest object; Stones, Statue's - some most recent, some very old and not so readable, Tombs - some above ground some below ground, but most are extended into the hillsides scattered all over within this landscape masterpiece.
After finding my family plot, I stood there a long time wondering about what my ancestors lives were like in 1825-1905 . . . wondering if anyone comes here now to pay respect and if so, who are they? I wonder what Robert J. Dodge, Antoinette C. Arnold, Arnold R. Dodge, and Susie Squire think of me as I research their lifes.
All of a sudden I realize I'm in Brooklyn, less than a mile from downtown and it is so quiet, the only sound I hear is a soft winter wind blowing leaves around and lots of birds preparing for spring.
Its truly an amazing place. If you are in NY, and even if you don't have any family resting here, I recommend this location as a top 10 historical site.
As I'm driving towards the exit after spending most of this winter day here, I can only image what this place looks like in the spring. I most definitely will be back.
My dad's father Robert Arnold Dodge moved to Greene County, New York in the 1930s. As we were left behind in NYC we were never really close to him, I only remember visiting him twice in my lifetime and I was very young both times. It was my Grand Dad's middle name and Barbara Dodge's help of the Dodge Family Association that started me on my family search. I have connected us (my wife, my son & daughter and of course myself) to the Tristram Dodges 1600's (thanks Barb), and I'm sure someone was listening on January 16, 2001 at the New York City Archives, when I found my connection to Robert J. Dodge my GGG Grandfather.
I did find a Website where you can take a tour of this cemetery unfortunately for me, not this time of year.
You can arrange a guided tour of Greenwood Cemterety in the Spring & Fall. For information see: http://members.aol.com/grnwdtours/
To request a schedule e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org