|The 21st Street Cemetary at the turn of the last century - photo NYPL Collection|
Greenwich Villagers know well the second Congregation Shearith Israel cemetery on West 11th Street off 6th Avenue. This tiny triangle of land holds about 20 headstones, a fraction of those buried here when the cemetery was a much larger square burial ground. Burials began here in 1805 when Greenwich Village was far from Manhattan to the south and the surrounding area was rural countryside. By 1830, however, the city's grid plan was taking place and West 11th Street cut through the plot. The majority of the deceased were disinterred and moved north to the new cemetery on West 21st.