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Photo of Green-Wood from a high point

As a parent and a home-schooler, I love destinations that provide an education, particularly American history; Green-Wood Cemetery fits that criterion combining the beautiful outdoors, history as well as art. We are planning to go there fairly soon and I thought I would share this review that I wrote a year ago and some family pictures through the years. We’ve been going there since 2005!

Before the turn of the 19th century, Green-Wood Cemetery was a premier destination site in New York, second only to Niagara Falls. Victorians use to come picnic on warm sunny afternoons.

Today I was there as part of a private tour and while it was my fifth visit there, I never tire of it’s beauty and history.

Observing brightly colored koi in the Serenity Garden

We started at the Serenity Garden which has a pool of large, brighly colored koi. The koi are so friendly, they’ll come right up to you in the hopes of being fed.

We visited the final resting place of: Leonard Bernstein, Elias Howe, DeWitt Clinton, Litchfield, Corning. I was surprised how understated Leonard Bernstein’s gravesite was. I would have thought it to much more grand.

Our first visit to Green-Wood in 2005, standing next to the statue of Minerva, goddess of wisdom

Towards the end of the tour we ended up by Battle Hill where I learned that the statue of the goddess Minerva was strategically placed to face the Statue of Liberty. And she has her hand raised to salute the Lady in the Harbor! The forethought sent chills down my back. The site is noted for George Washington having “cheated and retreated.” If he had stayed with his troops, it is believed that they would have had their asses whooped. He later went to find success in New Jersey. This is also the highest point in Brooklyn and you will get a stunning view of the harbor, Statue of Liberty, and skyline.

The highest point in Brooklyn. Can you see the Statue of Liberty?

Afterwards, we had a picnic by the circular lake even though picnicking is strictly prohibited. We were eventually chased out by the Green-Wood Patrol. Next time, we’re going to try to be more discreet.

This is one of the most beautiful destinations in Brooklyn and it is open year round and unless you are on a tour, the visit is absolutely free. If you go late April, early May you will see the cherry blossoms in bloom.