“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wilmington in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Site of Old Cathedral Cemetery

Site of Old Cathedral Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, August 31, 2008
1. Site of Old Cathedral Cemetery Marker
Inscription. In May 1852, this parcel of land was purchased by Bishop (now Saint) John N. Neumann of Philadelphia. From the early 1850s through the late 1870s, this was the primary cemetery for Wilmington’s Catholics. Those buried here represented all walks of life, from leather workers and housekeepers to elected officials and prominent businessmen. Some Civil War era soldiers were buried here, including Medal of Honor recipient Bernard McCarren. Though the majority of those interred were of Irish descent; there were also many other ethnicities represented, including German, Swiss, African American, Polish and English.

By the early 1880s, Old Cathedral Cemetery had fallen into disrepair and church officials began urging parishioners to move their departed loved ones to a new cemetery on Lancaster Avenue. By the mid-1950s it was assumed that all remains had been removed and the property was sold to the Delaware Hospital for use as a parking lot. When the lot was excavated in 1998 the remains of more than 2,000 individuals were discovered. After respectful and painstaking disinterment by a large team of archaeologists, the remains were reinterred at All Saints Cemetery on Kirkwood Highway. In May 1999, a Catholic Mass and memorial service was held at All Saints to honor and remember those were laid to rest there.
Bernard McCarren-grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 2, 2002
2. Bernard McCarren-grave marker
He was originally buried in Old Cathedral Cemetery and when it closed, he was reinterred to All Saints Cemetery (Section 20), Wilmington DE. His grave GPS coordinates are N39.7161 W75.6851. His Medal of Honor information and citation is: McCARREN, BERNARD • Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 1st Delaware Infantry • Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 3 July 1863 • Entered service at: Wilmington, Del. • Date of issue: 1 December 1864 Citation: Capture of flag.
2006 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number NC-154.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 39° 44.988′ N, 75° 33.167′ W. Marker is in Wilmington, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is at the intersection of W. 12th Street and N. Madison St., on the right when traveling west on W. 12th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wilmington DE 19801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Samuel Rodmond Smith (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); George Read Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Richard Bassett (approx. 0.2 miles away); Delaware Children's Theatre (approx. 0.2 miles away); John McKinly (approx. ¼ mile away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cool Spring Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Looking Back (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilmington.
Also see . . .  Medal of Honor Recipient Bernard McCarren. McCarren earned the Medal of Honor for actions at Gettysburg, Pa on July 3, 1863. Serving as a member of the 1st Delaware Infantry, McCarren is credited with capturing a Confederate regimental battle flag during Pickett's Charge. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Delaware Hospital image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, August 31, 2008
3. Delaware Hospital
There is no parking in the area of the marker. There are a few parking spaced in the adjoining cemetery but the cemetery entrance requires a quick right turn.
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionNotable PersonsWar, US Civil
Adjoining Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, August 31, 2008
4. Adjoining Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,826 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on September 17, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   3, 4. submitted on August 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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