Chartered in 1858 by the City of Elmira, the cemetery was designed by landscape gardener Howard Daniels, during the same year his official entry in the Central Park competition finished fourth. Daniels’ design, encompassing 58 acres on a triangular plot of land, follows the natural terrain. It includes meandering walks and drives with mature deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, and is enclosed by a wrought iron fence and masonry gates with monumental stone piers. The winding drives named for trees (Walnut, Tulip, Hickory, Linden, Elm, and Sycamore) help define distinct spaces in the cemetery. The scenographic roads gently curve through open expanses of lawn and pass through glens and declivities. Tall stone monuments, statuary, and smaller markers are organized in a loose grid pattern between the roads, oriented on a roughly north-south axis. The cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is also part of the National Park Service’s Freedom Trail of the National Underground Railroad.