Prior to our becoming a Presbyterian church in 1715, almost everyone in our church had been buried in the old town cemetery at what is now a city playground on 56 Avenue and 92 Street, next to Newtown High School Athletic Field. But around 1822, land was donated for a cemetery next to the Old White Church.

This cemetery existed until 1958 with many members from 1822 through 1929 buried there. Some people buried in the church's original cemetery were moved there in 1901 from the old town burial ground (now the playground across from Newtown Athletic Field). These included three of our early ministers, Rev. Samuel Pumroy, (died 1744, responsible for making this a Presbyterian church), Rev. Simon Horton (died 1786), and Rev. Peter Fish (died 1810), also one of the first three Elders, Content Titus (died 1730) and the founder of the Deacons Fund, Philippe Duvineer (died 1745). They were re-interred in one grave. Among others in the graveyard were Rev. Nathan Woodhull (died 1810), Rev. John Goldsmith (died 1854), and U.S. Congressman James Lent, (died 1833).

After the 1880s there were few new burials, with none recorded after 1929. For 30 years after the last burial, few came to visit the old graves, and the property was subject to much vandalism. In 1898 the church complained of cows and horses from the nearby Horsebrook Creek area getting into the cemetery. From the 1920s through the 1950s there were problems — vandals knocked over stones, defaced others and opened vaults, raiding the graveyard every Halloween and causing $6,000 damage one year. Trash was dumped there and it was becoming a nuisance to the church.

With no new income and too much to pay for upkeep, session approved the sale of the property to a real estate firm. In a note, the church’s lawyer advised that no attempt be made to stand fallen stones or repair them, since then the church would be required by law to move those stones, which would cost extra money. The church seems to have followed his advice, since only nine of the actual stones were moved, and those were mostly newer burials, which were also required to be moved by law.

The sale was approved by the Presbytery, the Supreme Court of New York, and the Department of Health. The church was paid a meager $187,500 for the property (compare that with the $1,000,000 offer for the church property), which was to be used to cover current expenses. Upon that site directly across the street from the present church now sits an apartment house. It is to be wished that somehow the church could have held onto its cemetery, as it did its church, and done more to preserve the stones which are part of its heritage and history. It was a great loss for little gain.

Attempts were made to contact any known relatives to see if they wanted to move the bodies elsewhere, and some were. For the remainder, 21 bodies and unidentified remains from six feet of earth of the entire cemetery were moved to the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn on June 13, 1958. The church in 1962 erected a grey granite stone, 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 1 ft. "In memory of deceased members removed from church cemetery in Elmhurst." Only the nine most recent burials have separate stones, and those are laid flat, sunk into the earth. A 4' x 6' x 5' gray granite monument was erected which bears the church’s name. The lot number is 51 Prospect Hill. (Former member Frank Spratt helped us find the location of the lot.) The site is not far from the office, near the western wall.