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The New Castle County Hospital (Almshouse) Cemetery is located mostly underneath the I-295 ramp that connects I-95 and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. There are about 100 numbered gravestones still accessible in a small patch of woods just off Baylor Blvd. on the Herman M. Holloway, Sr. Campus of the Delaware Health & Social Services, 1901 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, Delaware. The site is wildly overgrown and strewn with trash and construction debris. It is known by a number of names, including the “Cemetery in the Woods at Farnhurst” and should not be confused with either the Delaware State Hospital Cemetery (Spiral Cemetery, across from the Springer Building on the Holloway Campus) or the Baylor Blvd. Potter’s Field (next to the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution).
The NCCH Cemetery was in use from 1889 until 1934, and served primarily as the cemetery for people who died at the NCCH/Almshouse and were not claimed by relatives. However, it also served as the New Castle County Potter’s Field during this time, and includes a few people who happened to die nearby, such as the Frisbys who died in a car accident near the cemetery. Most of the people buried here are either old, poor, single African American men (Almshouse residents), or stillborn babies.
In the 2010s, Katherine Dettwyler and Hal Brown made a concerted effort to find out who was buried in the cemetery. Only one “Death Book” remains from the original Almshouse records, and it was located at the Delaware Public Archives (it had been mis-catalogued and so was thought to be lost for many years). This Death Book covered only the final years of the cemetery, 1926 to 1933. Others buried here were identified from their Certificates of Death. Altogether, only 1,122 of the more than 2,400 burials could be identified. In only a few cases could the grave number of specific individuals be determined.