History of Cypress Cemetery

Statue of Lion Gardiner

Cypress Cemetery, today known in Connecticut General Statutes as an "ancient burial place", is steeped in history dating back to the earliest settlements in Connecticut and the Saybrook Colony in 1635. When engineer Lion Gardiner, who's statue oversees Old Saybrook's Monument Park on Saybrook Point (photo at right), laid out the Town Plat in 1635, he also likely laid out a burial ground for those who passed away during those early and difficult days. This would mean that Cypress' original burial ground is as old as the colony itself and, in 2010, would be 375 years old. In that Cypress has seen burials since that time, it is one of the nation's oldest, continuously operational burial grounds.

The Association, through this website, the links below, and those throughout all of the webpages, endeavors to tell some of the stories of those buried within Cypress Cemetery. At the same time, some of the history of the Saybrook Colony and Saybrook Point as it relates to Cypress is told as well. We invite anyone who has information or pictures relating to the history of this cemetery to contact us. We also welcome clarifications to information presented as well. We'd love to hear your stories and questions and would love to add to the information available in what is an historic "work in progress". The website will be constantly updated with information discovered as time moves forward.

The references used for research are available at either Acton Public Library, the Old Saybrook Historical Society and the State Library in Hartford. Other references include two versions of a listing of those buried at Cypress from The Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Inscriptions (version 1, version 2). Interesting reading can be found in an 1894 New York Times article about Lady Fenwick, David Bushnell and the first submarine, the Saybrook Platform and other history related to Old Saybrook and Saybrook Point.

Samuel Doty