Vale Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Schenectady, New York. It opened on 21 October 1857 when the Rev. Julius Seely dedicated what was then termed "the Vale". It has tripled its size since opening and today it holds the remains of some of the most notable persons in Upstate New York. In 1973, a 35-acre tract of unused and abandoned cemetery land around the ponds of Coehorn Creek was sold to the city of Schenectady to form Vale Park.
The cemetery and park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The history of the cemetery begins shortly after 1850, at this time the old burying ground on Green and Front Streets was being overrun with weeds and was described as being in an unsanitary condition. The result of this was that the Common Council resolved on 2 July 1856 to use the grounds of the old Hospital Farm on Nott Terrace, as a 38-acre (150,000 m2) public cemetery. On 16 June 1857, Mayor Benjamin V S Vedder appointed a committee to oversee the work.
In order to gain access off one of the main streets in Schenectady, Nott Terrace, Dr Eliphalet Nott, the President of Union College donated an avenue from Nott Terrace into the grounds. Later in 1863, two pieces of land were purchased from the college creating what is now known as Vale Park. The entrance on State Street was a donation from the First Reformed Church in 1867.The cemetery was planned by Burton Thomas to be a rural cemetery by laying out many winding paths and planting over 1,000 trees, even the Cowhorn Creek was dammed to provide a lake within the grounds. The cemetery has since grown in size and covers approximately 100 acres (0.40 km2) and holds some 33 000 people.