Mount Olivet Cemetery was incorporated in 1850 under the Rural Cemetery Association Act of 1847 as a non-governmental supervision, non-sectarian cemetery. Space was allotted in and around most family lots to allow for landscape planting and a vast variety of trees and shrubs that have been planted. The cemetery has a regular tree and shrub pruning program and plants trees to make up for those lost due to storms, insect or disease damage.
It can only be assumed that the highest point of the Cemetery, 165 feet above sea level, was used as a lookout for the "Mespatches" indians. Maspeth which was formally settled by colonists in 1642 was named for these indians. The village began with 28 English settlers, mostly of the Quaker religion, as a result of the "Newtown Patent" of 1642, which granted over 13,000 acres of land to those wishing to settle and develop what is now western Queens County. The original village developed around Newtown Creek, west of the current town.
The first meeting to discuss the formation of the cemetery was on March 26, 1850 at the house of James Maurice in Maspeth. It was there that the name and the first Board of Directors were decided. The first board of Directors was Samual Haskins, George Fash, James Maurice, Lawrence Waterbury, John Stevens and Noah Waterbury. The original restriction of having mostly Episcopal Church services was repealed in 1851. The original land was acquired from George Fash (42 acres) which he had previously purchased contemplating the formation of the cemetery, and from the estate of James Waterbury (originally the property of Thomas Hallett.) The later parcel, of 16 acres was purchased in 1878 and gave the cemetery 360 feet frontage on Grand Avenue. A later purchase resulted in today's total of 71 acres.
The original office was located on brown place. It was eventually established on Grand Avenue in 1878 after land was purchased giving frontage on the more desirable main street. The current office building was built in 1936.