Bosque Bello Cemetery
The Bosque Bello Cemetery, "Beautiful Woods," was said to have been established by the Spanish in 1798. The City of Fernandina Beach added a "new" section in the mid-1940's.
The cemetery is located at 1321 North 14th Street near the entrance of historic Old Town Fernandina Beach. For lot purchases and cemetery information, visit the Parks & Recreation Department's administrative office at the Atlantic Recreation Center, 2500 Atlantic Avenue.
Prices for burial lots
$1,300 City residents
Tree lots (for cremated internments only)
$435 City residents
Deed transfer fee: $50
Burial permit (includes disinterment): $40
Monument permit: $40
Bosque Bello Cemetery is governed by the Cemetery City Code of Ordinances - Chapter 30
To view cemetery lot locations, visit the following link:
For a video of the cemetery, click here.
Saturday group tours October - May at 10:00am. 24-hours' advance notice. $15/person
Private tours available: $18/person
Call for reservations: 904-477-8900. For more information, visit www.discoverthisco.com
The Lives They Led - Stories from Bosque Bello
Buried at Bosque Bello Cemetery are individuals, families, and groups that played key roles in the development, heritage, diversity, and rich past of Fernandina Beach. Their stories, their contributions, and how they lived their lives represent our historical connection to not just our local community, but to Florida, our nation, and the world.
Each headstone and memorial at Bosque Bello has cultural heritage significance and story value. Sadly, many of the early grave markers were carved from wood, and they either rotted or disappeared over time. The earliest recorded grave at Bosque Bello is dated from 1813, while the original section of the Cemetery is thought to have been established in 1798.
The land that encompasses Bosque Bello was granted to the City as a public burial ground by Don Domingo Fernandez, an early private landowner. In Bosque Bello, you will discover the graves of 19th century Spanish residents, Amelia Island Lighthouse keepers, gun runners, politicians, boat captains, magicians, law enforcement officers, victims of both yellow and typhoid fever epidemics, nuns, and veterans of many wars - from the American Revolution to the present day.
Here are some of their stories...
- John Barr
- Nathaniel Borden
- Charles Cover
- Emma Delaney
- Antonio Diaz
- Jimmy Drummond
- Peter Hooper
- Private Alonzo Johnson
- Dr. Elisha Graham Johnson
- Barbara Ann Scott King
- Amos Latham
- Charles G. Mann
- Deputy Sheriff Jerry Mattox and Jane Mattox
- Elmer Nagel
- Estelle Rogers
- Mike Salvador and Salvatore Versaggi
- Charles Seton
- Sisters of St. Joseph
- Judge John H Stays
- J. Frank Surrency and John W. Skipper
- John Waas
- Edwin Wolff
- William F Wood
- Alice Youngblood
NOTE: These individual biographical vignettes are designed for heritage, cultural, and historical enrichment and not for commercial exploitation, i.e. resale to others or by republication to the public.
Stories compiled and written for the Parks & Recreation Department by R. Eschmann.
Bosque Bello Master Plan
November 2015 - The master plan was approved by the City Commission. View the plan here.
Past Bosque Bello Master Plan Updates
November 2014 - The City held a community workshop on the Bosque Bello master planning effort on November 1st, 2014. Topics included: what has been learned about the cemetery history during the project, issues that have been identified, a review of survey feedback, and the process going forward. Additional input was collected from attendees. Click here for a press release on the workshop.
August 2014 - Over the past two years, City staff in the Community Development and Parks & Recreation Departments have been working toward creating a master plan for the management and preservation of the historic Bosque Bello Cemetery. The cemetery dates to c.1798. The plan will include historical information about the cemetery, existing conditions and operations of the cemetery, and recommendations from City staff about preservation and use of the cemetery moving forward.
The Bosque Bello master planning effort is directed by two elements of the City’s Comprehensive Plan: Recreation and Open Space; and Historic Preservation. Policies in these elements recognize the need to preserve the historic cemetery while also planning for its future. For example, space is limited in the cemetery, so the City should be preparing now for how to increase space availability while retaining the historic character of the cemetery.
City staff began the master planning process during the late summer of 2012, which was greatly assisted by a group of interested citizens and stakeholders, including members of the Amelia Island Genealogical Society and Amelia Island History Museum. The working group has helped City staff gather history and information on the cemetery. From this information gathering, City staff can begin to create recommendations for inclusion in the plan.
As part of the planning process, the City asked for feedback on the cemetery through a survey open from October 2013 through January 2014. The survey questions involved people’s current understanding and usage of the cemetery and thoughts on what should occur in the future. Over 200 people responded to the survey, which was available online and in hard copy. The results were positive and indicated that a majority of responders were in favor of improving the cemetery and making it a more visible cultural resource in the community.
Many respondents were interested in having different options besides plot burial, and they supported creating a location within the cemetery for these alternative methods, such as a columbaria or scattering garden for ashes, or a memorial wall to recognize family and friends who may be buried elsewhere. There was also a desire to see the cemetery used more interactively by residents and visitors, which can help educate people on community heritage and lead to better protection of the site. A majority of survey participants could envision Bosque Bello as a space for quiet, passive activities, such as meditating, walking, bird watching, or special events such as historical walking tours. Survey respondents also believed that information about the history and location of graves, available via kiosk, mobile app or interpretive signage, would greatly enhance a visit to the cemetery and aid in helping family members locate relatives. The top concerns regarding the cemetery were: maintenance of headstones and walls; landscaping and tree preservation; vandalism; and running out of space.