The “Old Section” of Boynton Beach Memorial Park denotes the first official burial site for the citizens of Boynton. The cemetery originally extended further to the east; however, in 1947, plans were made to extend Green Street (Seacrest Boulevard) beyond Woolbright Road, which required 23 feet of the cemetery land. Reports indicate that some graves may have been moved from the cemetery to the Barton Memorial Park Cemetery to make way for the road extension1.
The Old Section of Boynton Beach Memorial Park contains graves associated with the city’s pioneer families. The date of the earliest burial cannot be determined due to a lack of records; however, the earliest legible burial date on a tombstone is 1903. It is believed there are many more graves than there are markers but that markers made from degradable material such as wood have decayed over time.
The cemetery contains an interesting variety of grave markers ranging from small plaques to large tombs and from professionally manufactured markers to folk grave markers. One of the most interesting, a “Woodmen of the World Memorial” marker, is in the shape of a tree.
Many grave markers include symbols relating to the deceased. For example, a lamb signifying innocence can be found on the gravestones of children, and a square and compass indicates the deceased was a Freemason.
Markers in the old section stand upright while the others lie flat on the ground as this helps with maintenance.
The mausoleum at the west side of the cemetery contains a stained glass mural by Conrad Pickel who lived and worked in Boynton. Pickel designed stained glass for churches throughout the country and is credited with designing what is reported to be the largest stained glass window in the world at the Resurrection Mausoleum in Justice, Illinois. He also designed windows for a number of buildings throughout the city and owned several other buildings which he used as workshops and gallery space. One of the most distinctive buildings in the city is the former Gallery Fantasia located at 1000 South Federal Highway. Pickel designed this building to look like a ship and utilized the space to showcase his work. Pickel was also an accomplished painter and sculptor and he designed the statue of a child titled “Loaned from Heaven” which is located in the children’s section of the cemetery.
- 1. “Some Remember”, Boynton Beach News Journal, 1978