When the Diocese of St. Augustine was established in 1870, Tolomato Cemetery was serving the local Catholic community. The City of St. Augustine ordered Tolomato and the public burying ground (Huguenot) closed in 1884. Catholic burials were then held at the Mission of Nombre de Dios. Because its location on the water was not ideal for a permanent cemetery, the diocese continued to look for a more appropriate cemetery location.
Also at this time St. Augustine was enjoying a boom in tourism thanks to Henry Flagler’s railroad and elegant hotels. City fathers wanted the new cemeteries away from the primary tourist areas. Evergreen Cemetery, the new public graveyard, was located across the San Sebastian River in what was then called New Augustine (now West Augustine). The diocese also chose a spot west of town, but further to the south. San Lorenzo Cemetery opened in 1892 and is the oldest cemetery still operated by the Diocese. It continues to accept burials today.
A mortuary chapel was built in 1924. It is often called the Bishops House because Archbishop Josephy Hurley and Bishops John Moore, William Kenny and Patrick Barry are interred there. Surrounding the chapel are the graves of nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph and priests who have served the diocese.
- Julie Conrey, At the Hour of Our Death, St. Augustine Catholic Online, November 2006.
- Charles Tingley, presentation at the T’omb It May Concern conference on the historic cemeteries of St. Augustine, June 11-13, 2009.