Flushing Cemetery has several predecessors. In the year 1789 , George Washington had crossed the East River on a personal mission aboard his barge. Washington, like other noted landowners, journeyed to Flushing: The community was a center of scientific horticulture. The cemetery's floral and arboreal beauty have become a memorial to Flushing's status as a center of horticulture to this day.
During the year of 1853 in which the Flushing Cemetery was founded, the population of Queens County was around 20,000. The land the original site for Flushing Cemetery would rest was the 20-acre John Purchase farm, which was selected by committee. A select number of individuals who attended the founding meeting: Reverend John Gilder, Henry Christie, William Leonard, Caleb Smith, and Robert B. Parsons. Civic-minded citizens like these people had also organized the Flushing Cemetery Association. The day these founders received their charter was May 5, 1853 was the same day in which the World's Fair in New York Crystal Palace was scheduled to open. Civil engineer Horace Daniels was responsible for plotting the grounds. In 1875, the Whitehead Duryea farm, which measured 50 acres and adjoined the cemetery, was purchased and added to the site.
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