The cemetery is best known because of the aftermath of the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Many of the flood's 2,209 victims are buried there. A section of the cemetery called the "Unknown Plot" contains the bodies of 777 flood victims who could not be identified. A monument to the flood victims was purchased by the state of Pennsylvania and dedicated on May 31, 1892 before a crowd estimated at 10,000 that included the governor of Pennsylvania.
As of March 31, 1992, the total number of interments at Grandview was 57,006. The cemetery contains 47 burial sections and more than 235 acres (0.95 km2), and is one of the largest in Pennsylvania.