George C. Tilyou (1862-1914) founded Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park, a leading attraction of its day and one of the most popular early amusement parks. Known as “The Funny Place,” the park featured its namesake horseracing ride, plus a swimming pool, carousel, Ferris wheel, and large indoor pavilion. The admission tickets shown above lists six rides for 50 cents, and they feature the iconic grinning face associated with Coney Island.


Captain Samuel Harris Sims (1828-1864) is but one of many Civil War military officers to make Green-Wood his final resting place. When Sims departed for war, he left behind his fiancé, Carrie Dayton – but he did not forget her while on the field. Between battles, Sims hand carved peach pits into the two small baskets pictured above. He sent these carvings home to her, along with letters and pressed flowers. These items, plus correspondence, official documents and mementos, are part of a diverse collection of Samuel Harris Sims materials belonging to Green-Wood’s Collection. Sadly, Sims never made it home to his fiancé, having suffered fatal injury at the Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, VA in 1864.

Whipping Along!

Our exhibition, “William F. Mangels: Amusing the Masses on Coney Island and Beyond,” opens to the public in our Historic Chapel on September 7–in less than two months. Much to do! Now that we have successfully raised money from our Kickstarter backers, a grant through City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the corporate sponsorship of Luna … Read more


Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896) was a revered and highly successful photographer in the second half of the 19th century. His unique compositions featuring dramatic posing, a variety of backgrounds and props, and unusual lighting and shadows elevated photography to a new level. His portraits became fashionable and his portfolio features photographs of some of the most notable theatrical and public figures of his time from Sarah Bernhardt to Oscar Wilde. The Historical Collection contains Sarony photos of many Green-Wood residents, too, like Henry Ward Beecher and Samuel Morse. The self-portrait cabinet card of the photographer show above illustrates that he was quite an eccentric character.

“Rest soldier, sweetly rest.”

I feel like I know Henry Augustus Sand pretty well. Not that I ever met him. After all, he died in 1862. But, I have read a great deal about him, his service to his country, and his ultimate sacrifice. He is, of course, interred at Green-Wood. I told his noble, heroic, yet sad story … Read more


Florence LaBadie (1888-1917), was one of the first major movie stars, appearing in over 180 silent films during her short career. The actress tragically passed away in 1917, at the height of her career, following a car accident near Ossining, New York. Pictured above is a still from the 1917 film, The Woman in White, the last of LaBadie’s films released before her death. LaBadie played dual roles in the film, a surprisingly modern convention for an early silent film. In April 2014 Green-Wood installed the first monument to stand at the grave site of the silent film starlet who, mysteriously, was interred without a headstone.