Halloween in a Graveyard “It Happened in Newark’s most historic burial place”

BY lyanne

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How to spend a Halloween afternoon?  Why not a cemetery or more specific Mount Pleasant Cemetery, this was the place in one of Newark less ventured historic places.  Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a large Victorian-era cemetery in the North Ward of Newark, on Mount Prospect Avenue in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. It is located on the west bank of the Passaic River in Newark’s Broadway neighborhood, opposite Kearny. It occupies approximately 40 acres (162,000 m²) and is widely used as a park. The cemetery is listed on both the New Jersey Register (ID #1284, since 1987) and the National Register of Historic Places.  The idea of celebrating Halloween at the Cemetery was the idea of the Landmark Historic Committee (not to be confused with the Preservation & Landmarks Commission, which is a city agency responsible for reviewing developments within historic districts),

The Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee is the not-for-profit, volunteer-based, citywide advocate for the preservation of Newark’s historic and cultural resources.  ‘The Committee’s activities include nomination of landmarks to the historic registers; intervention on behalf of threatened landmarks; implementation of educational initiatives; provision of technical assistance; and collaboration with other nonprofit agencies.  Committee founded by Donald Dust and others in Nov. 26, 1976, some of the founding g members still participate in its ongoing activities.  “What great way to include a history tour, to the young people of Newark. And it truly is a physical landmark of Newark’s prominent past.  So Committee members dress up in period costumes, and next to prominent Newarker’s, and share the important significance of the people laid to rest there.


The graves of some of Newark’s most eminent citizens are within MountPleasantCemetery.


The cemetery is dominated by the marble mausoleum of John Fairfield Dryden, the founder of Prudential Financial. Interesting note, Mr Dryden mansion where he live in Newark remains, in the Lincoln Park historic district.  I personally found it interesting the his mausoleum was as large as his home.  Equally interesting were the names of city streets correspond to many of the noted individuals married there.

Some other notable Newarkers;


Seth Boyden, and wife inventor of patent leather; and


Mary Stillman, first wife of Thomas Edison, and Edison.


Mount Pleasant also contains graves of members of the Kinney, Ballantine, Munn and Frelinghuysen families.

Another interesting fact about the cemetery are the caretakers,  this historic cemetery has been managed by one family since it’s creation.  The cemetery itself was opened and incorporated in 1844, but there are graves that date back to the mid-17th century, which were moved from older graveyards that were crowded out due to development.   Which such great feedback form Saturday’s event, plans are already underway to expand the Halloween visit to the cemetery next year.


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