The Tolomato Cemetery, which was closed to new burials in 1884 and has been closed to the public for many years, began opening one Saturday per month, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting last November.
The cemetery is located about one block south of the Visitor Information Center and Parking Garage; just beyond the Old Drug Store, on Cordova Street — between Orange Street and Saragossa Street.
Tolomato is the oldest extant planned cemetery in Florida, starting life as a mission Indian village and eventually becoming the parish cemetery for what is now the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine. The cemetery preserves its connection to remarkable moments and individuals in the history of St Augustine and of the Catholic Church in Florida.
Northeast Region Outreach Coordinator Amber Grafft-Weiss, representing the Florida Public Archaeology Network, encouraged all Historic City News readers to participate in the self-guided tours which are available on an on-going basis, or, guided tours that are offered every hour.
Time is allowed after the tour for photography.
Guided visits are free of charge, although visitors are encouraged to offer a donation. All money goes to the preservation and restoration of the cemetery.
Researchers may work during the normal opening hours of the Cemetery, or by special arrangement at other times. Larger group tours of up to 20 persons may be arranged by calling the Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association at (904) 257-3273.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by Amber Grafft-Weiss