Quogue Cemetery is one of 17 properties, resources and districts in the state that will be added to the National Register of Historic Places later this year.
It was announced Friday that the cemetery, established in 1750 and located off Lamb Avenue in the village, will be added to the list of sites classified by Rose Harvey, the commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, as “historic resources that help shape the individuality and ‘quality of place’ of our community.”
Properties added to the national register are eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as state grants and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
Douglas Greff, the treasurer of the Quogue Cemetery Board of Directors, said this week that the process to get the cemetery registered started in 2009 when his board raised around $1.5 million to expand the graveyard to an adjoining property. As part of that work, roughly 200 trees were cut down, bushes were removed and the driveway was cleaned.
The board also hired a restoration team to clean the headstones, including those markers dating back to 1754 that had long become illegible.
Mr. Greff proudly talked about the renovated cemetery, saying “it became clear walking through this place that it was the most historic place in Quogue.”
After the work was done, Chester Murray, the co-chairman of the Quogue Historical Society, suggested to Mr. Greff that they hire Southampton Town Historian Zach Studenroth, who has had success in getting other local sites added to the state and national registers, to see if he could get the Quogue Cemetery added to the lists.
Mr. Studenroth could not be reached for comment, but in the document submitted to the state nominating the site he described the Quogue Cemetery as “a rare, historical resource that remains in active use today but preserves the characteristic features of its early formation.”
The state board apparently agreed with Mr. Studenroth, stating in a press release announcing the cemetery’s acceptance that it contained “historically significant grave monuments associated with Quogue’s founding settlers and their descendants as well as excellent examples of funerary art.”
An estimated 90,000 properties across the country are currently listed on the national register.
Mr. Greff noted that the Quogue Historical Society is now writing a guide to the cemetery, though he wasn’t sure when it would be finished.