Forest Rose Cemetery was established in 1883. Before it was formed, there were two separate cemeteries located on the property - the Lutheran Cemetery and the German Burying Ground. These two cemeteries were separated by a large field. The German Burying Ground was established in 1826, and is located on the north side of Forest Rose Cemetery, overlooking Baltimore Road. The Lutheran Cemetery was established in 1848, and is located on the south side of Forest Rose Cemetery, near the Marks Avenue alley. In 1883, the city of Lancaster purchased the farm land for use as a cemetery. The Lutheran Cemetery and German Burying Ground were incorporated into the new Forest Rose Cemetery.
Several other older cemeteries around Lancaster were also moved to Forest Rose Cemetery due to development. Shortly after the cemetery was formed, the German Lutheran Cemetery that was located at the northwest corner of Mulberry Street and Forest Rose Avenue was moved there. Also, around 1907, part of the Old City/Lancaster Burial Ground (also known as the Old Methodist Cemetery) was moved to Forest Rose cemetery from it's previous location near the corner of High Street and Chestnut Street.