Florida Master Site File ID NA00800, establishe 1860, 260 graves.
St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery is located on the northeast corner of North 8th and Alachua Street. It covers almost one square block. A canopy of oak, magnolia, and cedar with palms sprinkled throughout provide a quiet setting for this historic cemetery.
St. Peters Episcopal Church was organized on June 14, 1858, by Rev. Owen P. Thackara, who is buried in the cemetery, and a small group of Fernandina citizens. This meeting was held on the second floor of Timanus Hall, a building which once stood on the corner of Second and Centre streets and was destroyed by fire in 1876. The first church building was a wooden structure located at the southeast corner of the present cemetery.
During the War Between the States, the building was occupied by the federal troops. Unauthorized burials were made on the church property during the time of occupation. It is thought that the first burial was that of Frederick Albert Grossman, the two-month-old son of Frederick Grossman, a captain in the 7th U.S. Infantry.
Peter W. O. Koerner, a county surveyor who was born in Prussia, surveyed and divided the cemetery into plots, circa 1872 . He was also the surveyor for the new town of Fernandina.
Church records show a variety of causes of death: yellow fever, catarrh (sic) of stomach, consumption, phthisis, neuralgia of the heart, congestion of the brain, killed by a train, bitten by a shark and bled to death, shot, drowned. Young Willie Jeffreys died after being attacked by a bear from a traveling circus while attending school in Gainesville. His body was returned to Fernandina for burial.
Low cemetery walls surround many of the old grave sites. Many of the early tombstones were made by the Delanys, a black family known for the abilities to work with cement and stone. Because of the absence of natural stone on the island, only recent markers have been made from granite. As a result, many of the older markers have been replaced with stone markers. One of the most unusual markers is the Wix marker which is made of zinc.
This cemetery was originally surveyed on November 22, 23 1996 by Jean Mann and Lisa Hickey and updated in January of 2013 by Jean Mann.
An early survey, circa 1937 based on newest date of death, was conducted as New Fernandina Cemetary, Nassau County Florida.
GPS Location 30.672530, -81.458128 Opens in a new window.