Riverside Cemetery was established in 1853 - the same year that Waterbury officially became a city. It was designed to be a Rural Cemetery, part of an aesthetic movement to create burial parks. Cemeteries like Riverside were intended to act almost as public parks - a place where people could escape the bustle of the city and take a pleasant stroll among the trees and streams. The creation of Riverside Cemetery involved landscaping in a literal sense. Many of the small hills - topped by grand and imposing monuments to some of the greatest industrialist families - were created specifically for that purpose. The small stream running through the center is naturally occurring, but its two ponds are not.