San Lorenzo Cemetery

San Lorenzo Cemetery taken by the author and archived at Flickr.
San Lorenzo Cemetery taken by the author and archived at Flickr.

When the Diocese of St. Augustine was established in 1870, Tolomato Cemetery was serving the local Catholic community. The City of St. Augustine ordered Tolomato and the public burying ground (Huguenot) closed in 1884.  Catholic burials were then held at the Mission of Nombre de Dios. Because its location on the water was not ideal for a permanent cemetery, the diocese continued to look for a more appropriate cemetery location.

Also at this time St. Augustine was enjoying a boom in tourism thanks to Henry Flagler’s railroad and elegant hotels. City fathers wanted the new cemeteries away from the primary tourist areas. Evergreen Cemetery, the new public graveyard, was located across the San Sebastian River in what was then called New Augustine (now West Augustine). The diocese also chose a spot west of town, but further to the south. San Lorenzo Cemetery opened in 1892 and is the oldest cemetery still operated by the Diocese. It continues to accept burials today.

Bishops  House at San Lorenzo by the author archived at Flickr
Bishop’s House at San Lorenzo by the author archived at Flickr

A mortuary chapel was built in 1924. It is often called the Bishops House because Archbishop Josephy Hurley and Bishops John Moore, William Kenny and Patrick Barry are interred there. Surrounding the chapel are the graves of nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph and priests who have served the diocese. Note that the statues you see on either side of the steps have been removed to the museum at the Mission of Nombre de Dios.

The cemetery is operated by the diocesan Office of Catholic Cemeteries and is located between U.S. 1 and Old Moultrie Road just south of the intersection of U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway.

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