The Friends of Center Cemetery, Inc. of East Hartford, Connecticut is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated November 8, 1989 to promote and preserve this historic town cemetery which was authorized in 1709 as Hartford’s second burying ground. As the cemetery contains the town’s oldest surviving examples of its long history, Friends will engage in its preservation and restoration, and research its history, plus promote public awareness and pride in the cemetery, as an “outdoor museum” and repository of historical, genealogical, and artistic importance for not only the citizens of East Hartford but the region as well. It is a significant cultural asset for the present and future citizens of East Hartford and the region, as it is an important part of the historical heritage of the Connecticut River Valley. The organization will have open membership, seek funding to support its goals and projects, and will encourage public participation in its activities.
Friends has expanded its mission to include concerns of how an inactive but historic Colonial-era cemetery survives in the 21st century with the realization its role must be redefined in order to remain a vital and relevant part of community fabric, while keeping in mind that the surrounding community itself grows ever more diverse and multi-cultural with changing needs and visions.