Layman’s Cemetery

You can read about the history and designation of the Layman’s Cemetery historic landmark.

Pioneers & Soldiers Memorial Cemetery




Address: 2925 Cedar Avenue

Neighborhood: East Phillips

Construction Date: 1853

Architect: Undetermined

Architectural Style: Undetermined

Historic Use: Religious - Cemetery

Current Use: Religious Cemetery

Date of Local Designation: 2006

Date of National Register Designation: 2002

Area(s) of Significance: Social history; significant persons and groups

Period of Significance: 1853-1942

Historic Profile: Layman’s Cemetery, or Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery as it is more commonly known, occupies a 27-acre site in south Minneapolis. Founded in 1853 on land adjacent to the farmstead of Martin Layman, it is the oldest surviving cemetery in Minneapolis. The cemetery is the sole surviving churchyard-style frontier cemetery in the city, as characterized by closely spaced graves arranged in a generally rectilinear pattern, and it is the final resting place of nearly 20,000 pioneers, veterans and immigrants. It contains the graves of some of the first settlers of the city, many of whom made major contributions to local history; soldiers and veterans of the War of 1812, the Dakota Conflict, the Civil War, the Mexican American War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I; mid to late nineteenth century European immigrants, early African American citizens and transposed abolitionists. Notable individuals buried in the cemetery include Philander Prescott, Charles W. Christmas, and William Goodridge. In 1925, a group began to organize to save Layman’s Cemetery for its historical importance. The group’s effort is recognized as early, local attempt at historic preservation.

Photo Credits:

1936, A.F. Raymond, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," 2005.

Updated: February 2007

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Historic Preservation




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415