Memorial Presbyterian Church leads tours of the Huguenot Cemetery in downtown St. Augustine on the third Saturday of each month. The tours are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The first cemetery in St. Augustine dedicated for Anglo-American civilians, the Huguenot Cemetery was a Protestant burial ground from 1821 to 1884. Located across from the historic city gate, the cemetery is at 3 Cordova St. The Presbyterian Church has owned the cemetery since 1832.
Established after Florida became a U.S. Territory, the cemetery was first used for the interment of victims of the 1821 yellow fever epidemic and then for the burial of members of the city's Protestant population. The cemetery property was acquired by the Rev. Thomas Alexander and then sold to the Presbyterian Church in 1832. By the late 19th century, the over-crowding of graves, and the resulting concerns for sanitation and public health, required that the small public and religious burying grounds in St. Augustine be closed. New cemeteries, such as San Lorenzo and Evergreen, were subsequently opened to parishioners and the public.
The Huguenot Cemetery is significant because it was the first cemetery in St. Augustine dedicated for Anglo-American civilians. The burial traditions and funerary materials expressed at Huguenot, compared with the nearby Tolomato Cemetery (established by the Catholic Church in 1777 and also open for tours on the third Saturday of each month), demonstrate both the differences and commonalities in funerary practices and religious attitudes of two distinct groups residing in 19th century St. Augustine.
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month.
Where: The Huguenot Cemetery is located at 3 Cordova St. in historic downtown St. Augustine.