by Kevin Walsh

This smallest cemetery in Brooklyn, the “Revolutionary Cemetery” in Bay Ridge, at the corner of Narrows Avenue and Mackay Place, was founded in 1725 by Dutch immigrant William Harmans Barkaloo and likely served as a family farm graveyard. At the time, the nearest road was the Road from Gowanus, which evolved into the present 3rd Avenue.

The “revolutionary” appellation comes from a plaque erected in 1962 on the protective gate, which indicates that several Revolutionary War veterans are buried here; though some historians dismiss the claim as spurious, others say that William Barkaloo’s sons, Harmans and Jacques, fought in the Battle of Brooklyn, which raged in Bay Ridge and throughout the towns of New Utrecht and Brooklyn. The last burial took place in 1848.

The Barkaloo Cemetery is still historic since it is the only family plot in Brooklyn not part of a larger cemetery. There are a number of them remaining in the Bronx and Queens (Lawrence Cemeteries in Astoria and Bayside and Pullis Cemetery, as well as the Alsop plot in Calvary Cemetery). The Barkaloos lived in Bay Ridge well into the 20th Century.


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