Concordia Cemetery
438 Walden Avenue, Buffalo NY

Concordia Cemetery - Official Website

In operation:

1859-2010

Bordering cemetery:

Beth Jacob Cemetery

Style:

Rural cemetery

Status:

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places - Nomination


The Volunteers of Concordia Cemetery received an award from the Preservation Buffalo Niagara for their work in maintaining the cemetery.

Illustrations Beneath the Text



German Lutheran Immigrants in Buffalo
Excerpts from the National Register of Historic Places - Nomination for Concordia Cemetery

German immigrants settled in Buffalo as early as the 1820s, but large scale immigration began in 1839 as a result of the persecution of Old Lutherans in the German states by Prussian king Frederick William III, a Calvinist.

In 1845-1846, famine induced a new wave of German integration, followed by the Revolutions of 1848.

Germans who became established in Buffalo arranged for friends and relatives to follow, resulting in migration chains  which expanded the immigration population exponentially.  The old Fourth Ward in Buffalo's east side became the center of a burgeoning German community numbering almost 7,000 in 1855, approximately 50% of the city's rapidly expanding population. 

Buffalo's German community remained distinct for several generations and maintained a series of German language institutions in the city including separate schools, clubs, newspapers and a bank. The German and German-American population stood at approximately 40% of the  city's population in 1900.


Land for the cemetery, a portion of Lot 51 [second map] on the Holland Land Survey, was purchased from John and Magdelene Stellwagen in 1859. The property included a fairly recently-built farmhouse and barn well-suited for use as a cemetery office, caretaker residence and maintenance facility.  These buildings remain extant in the cemetery although both have been altered.
Concordia

In 2008 Concordia Cemetery was listed on both the Stare and National Registers of Historic Places. Concordia was cited as a significant historic property because of its representation of Buffalo's early German immigrant population and its collection of grave monuments of the period.

Formed in 1859, Concordia Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Western New York.

Encompassing 15 acres on Walden Avenue at Sycamore Street, the cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of early residents of Buffalo, including over 450 war veterans of which 125 are Civil War veterans. Currently there are over 16,800 people of all ethnic backgrounds buried there.






The cemetery office and maintenance barn and yard are located in the southwest corner of the cemetery:  The mid-nineteenth century farmhouse (Gothic Revival style) was integrated into the cemetery in 1859. Like the house, the barn appears to pre-date the cemetery.






19th century wrought-iron fence






2006 replica iron arch.
"Concordia"means harmony and refers to the coming-together of the 3 Buffalo church congregations to share this property.















The cemetery is divided into three major sections, each corresponding with one of the three German Lutheran churches that established the cemetery:
First Trinity Lutheran Church, 
St. Peter's German Evangelical Church, and
St. Stephen's Evangelical Church.
(First Trinity’s founding pastor was Lebrecht Krause and the church was located at the corner of William and Milnor Streets.)






Many of the monuments are inscribed in German or in both English and German and feature biblical passages, sentimental phrases and in one case a curse on the deceased's murderer
































Special thanks to Concordia Cemetery Association President Diane Pesch-Savatteri  for her cooperation in 2011

Photos and their arrangement 2011 Chuck LaChiusa
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