Windsor, CT | Historic Cemeteries

Riverside Cemetery


Riverside Cemetery

Located at 102 East Street (parallel to Rt. 75), this cemetery was established in 1894 and contains the graves of Civil War veterans, 20th-century paupers from the Town Farm (Poor Farm) that bordered the cemetery, as well as recent interments. In 2014, First School Society commenced planning for upgrades to this cemetery including landscaping, roadways, a memorial garden, and more. If you wish to buy a gravesite at Riverside Cemetery, please call Carmon Community Funeral Home at 860/688-2200. All are welcome.

Riverside is a very different type of cemetery from Palisado Cemetery. Markers here span about 120 years vs. 370 years in Palisado. This cemetery provides a sense of community that evolved from an agricultural town with residents whose roots go back many generations to be rapidly diversified town with agriculture, industry and beginning suburbanization. Historical records yield more details on the lives of the people commemorated by Riverside’s gravestones. In the later 19th and 20th centuries, many Irish, German, and Scandinavian families had burials here.

Several of the interesting burials in Riverside Cemetery include:

Wallace Sands

Birth: Unknown
Death: Aug. 20, 1918
Civil War
Company C 29th Infantry
Connecticut Volunters

Wallace Sands’ regiment, the Ct. 29 th Colored Regiment was established in late 1862 when Union was in difficult straits and running very short on manpower. Regiments generally had at least 1,000 men usually divided into 10 companies of roughly 100 men. Many Civil War regiments had far more men. Earliest recruits for the 29 th regiment assembled late summer of 1863, trained in Fair Haven (New Haven). Mustered out in March 1864 under command of Col. William B. Wooster of Derby, Connecticut. At first assigned to non-combat tasks: drill, picket and guard duty near Beaufort SC , then involved in siege of Petersburg VA August-Sept. 1864, where huge mine exploded. They were among the first to enter Richmond, the Confederate capitol after pressing Confederate lines which finally broke. Casualties: of the 1600 in this regiment, 23 killed in action, 22 died of wounds. 153 died of disease, fairly typical figures. Wallace Sands survived the Civil War but died 1918 as another war raged in Europe

Michael s. Dougherty

Birth: 1833
Death: 1900
Civil War
1st Regiment Massachusetts
Heavy Artillery

There are two stones that commemorate the life of Michael Dougherty: a military stone and an obelisk erected by his family. The military stone came free to veterans. The Dougherty family had the means to erect one of the more expensive markers in this cemetery but the military stone obviously meant a lot to the family. Michael Dougherty served in the 1 st regiment MA heavy artillery from 1861- 1865. He had been born in Syracuse NY. The regiment was involved in defense of Washington, Spottsyvania and the Siege of Petersburg. 2552 soldiers in the ranks; 486 of them lost or nearly one in five. Michael Dougherty was a cigar maker and a member of the Windsor Cigarmaker’s Union. Had lived in Suffield previously. He suffered from rheumatism for years before his death which may have been related to his war service. He was originally to be buried in Tarriffville. Either that changed, or he was moved to Windsor by the family. Obelisk gravestone has a number of symbols. Ivy: friendship, fidelity, immortality...a hard-to-eradicate plant. Oak leaves; strength, longevity, eternity Draped Urn: dust to dust, drapery signified mourning.

Historical Information

Historical information courtesy of The Windsor Historical Society, and in particular Christine Ermenc, Executive Director, Bev Garvan, who researched the history of the cemetery and the land on which it sits, Elaine Brophy, who accessed old Hartford Courant obituaries and death records. And thanks to the A bigail Wolcott Ellsworth Chapter of the DAR who copied all the cemetery inscriptions here in 1929 and to Barbara Sanborn who donated a notebook of with birth and death dates noted on gravestones from 1894-2013.

Gravestone images courtesy of Find a Riverside Cemetery.

Future Plans

In 2015, The First School Society undertook a program to update and enhance Riverside Cemetery. Click here to view the plan for the multi-year project.


Please help us preserve this cemetery by following these rules:

  1. Parking must not be on the grass.
  2. Dogs must be leashed and cleaned up after.
  3. Gravestone rubbings of historic markers (pre-1900) are not permitted.
  4. Please do not lean or sit on any gravestones.
  5. Fresh flowers may be placed on graves and should be removed after one week.
  6. Potted plants may be placed at graves but not dug into the soil.
  7. Artificial flowers may be used only from November 1 through March 1.
  8. The use of glass containers, balloons, stuffed animals, toys and fire of any kind is not permitted.
  9. The planting of shrubbery or trees is not permitted.
  10. The directors reserve the right to remove anything that detracts from the appearance of the cemetery or its road.
  11. Clean ups are performed by cemetery employees. If you wish to save any loose items placed on gravesites, please remove them prior to the following dates:
    • March 1
    • Two weeks after Memorial Day
    • Two weeks after Veterans Day
    • Two weeks after Christmas
  12. The directors, cemetery employees and cemetery representatives are not responsible for the loss of objects including monuments and markers or personal injury incurred on cemetery grounds.

A copy of the complete regulations is available from Carmon Funeral Home, 860/688-2200.