137 tombstones representing a small portion of the original graveyard on the Green have been preserved in the basement of the Center Church-on-the-Green in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
When the church was built over part of the town’s burial ground in 1813, the foundations included a crypt built to protect the gravestones which were left intact.
The graves include headstones of Reverend James Pierpont, one of the founders of Yale; Benedict Arnold’s first wife and President Rutherford Hayes’ family.
In Memory of Mr Nathan Alling who died Octobr 24th, 1774, in his 79th year Mrs Hannah Alling his wife died Octobr 26th 1771 in her 68th year
Here lyeth the Body of Mrs Lydia Rosewell Relict of Mr Richard Rosewell who dyed December ye 9th 1731 in ye 66th year of her age
Note: Relict means widow. Ye is a form of the word, ‘the’
In memory of Mrs Elizabeth Woodward Daughter of John Woodward Esqr who departed this (water damage has eroded inscription) Aged 55 years
To prevent further destruction of the stones from water seepage through the concrete floor, the concrete was removed and a brick floor laid which allows moisture to escape between the bricks.
Tours of the church and crypt are available from April – October: Saturdays 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.