The Crown Hill Tree Program And The Natural Heritage of Crown Hill Cemetery

Flowering Trees of Crown HillA Mission

In 1863 our founders established Crown Hill as "A Rural Cemetery for Indianapolis" designed for both the living and the dead. They chose a beautiful place in a peaceful, natural setting for burying the dead, while at the same time they planned a place for visitors that would offer the serenity of a beautiful park where tombstones blend with the landscape. We invite you to celebrate with us as we remember the past and inspire the future by preserving and enhancing the natural heritage of Crown Hill Cemetery with a donation to The Crown Hill Tree Program. To do so you may Donate On-line Now or Print This Page and mail it with your contribution.


A Rural Cemetary

"The most important contribution America made to the history of cemeteries grew out of the Rural Cemetery Movement...The cultivation of nature in new cemeteries provided a setting in which to remember the dead and instruct the living...While the lessons taught in this school vary from time to time and place to place, they seek to educate survivors in the art of living rather than the art of dying. The dead are remembered so that we might live better lives."

Grave Matters, Mark C. Taylor and Dietrich Lammerts 2002

A Forest

"It's hard to picture this part of the country as I first remember it. Here and there was a cabin home with a little spot of clearing close by. The rest of the country was jist one great big woods and miles and miles in most every direction. From your cabin you could see no farther than the wall of trees surrounding the clearing; not another cabin in sight."

A Home in the Woods, Pioneer Life in Indiana, Oliver Johnson's
Reminiscences of Early Marion County As Related by Howard Johnson

A Farm and Tree Nursery

"The elevation that gives the name 'Crown Hill' to the cemetery, then familiarly known as 'Strawberry Hill,' was included in the farm of Martin Williams, part of his ground being used as a tree nursery. The hill is the highest point of land about Indianapolis, being nearly two hundred feet higher than the level of the river. It had been used as a resort for picnickers and was especially popular in strawberry season. Recollections among old citizens differ, some saying that they bought the cultivated fruit of Martin Williams, the first cultivated strawberries in Indianapolis; others that wild berries grew in profusion on the hill free to all who came before Martin Williams owned the land. Probably both reminiscences are right."

The Story of Crown Hill, Anna Nicholas 1928