5. Jonathan Reed, a man who lived in his wife’s mausoleum, is buried in the Evergreens Cemetery

Evergreens Cemetery, where Jonathan Reed sat vigil besides his wife's coffin for more than ten years.
Evergreens Cemetery, where Jonathan Reed sat vigil beside his wife’s coffin for more than ten years.

Along Bushwick’s southeastern boundary is the Evergreens Cemetery, a nonsectarian graveyard that runs along the border between Brooklyn and Queens. Individuals buried here range from Civil War veterans to vaudevillians. In addition, the cemetery houses the unidentified remains of victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, placed beneath a monument of a grieving woman. From the fire, there were eight graves allocated, consisting of one man, six women, and one casket holding an individual whose gender was unidentifiable. 

Another notable figure buried is Jonathan Reed, a Brooklyn merchant who bought a mausoleum in Evergreens Cemetery for his wife after her death in 1893 — placing an additional empty coffin next to her for himself. According to reports from the New York Times, Reed decorated the mausoleum “just like a living room in a fine house,” with items such as an oil stove, paintings, photos from Mary’s childhood, and their pet parrot. Every morning, Reed arrived saying, “Good Morning, Mary, I have come to sit with you.” He would then remain at the tomb all day, talking, eating, and reading to pass the time before leaving in the evening. Over the years, word of Reed’s actions spread throughout the community, and others began to join him on his daily vigils — 7,000 people visited him during the first year alone. Seven Buddhist monks from Burma even stopped to sit with him. Reed never missed a single day’s visit and was found dead from a stroke on the floor of the mausoleum in 1905. Immediately he was laid to rest beside his wife, and the tomb has remained closed ever since.