Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Celebrating 300 Years

A couple of weeks ago friends and I went on a tour of the Whippany Burying Yard in Whippany, NJ, in celebration of its founding in 1718. It's a small cemetery--a little over 2 acres--containing about 300 markers from the early 18th to the 20th century. 

It is listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest cemetery in northwest NJ. There are 11 Revolutionary War veterans interred there as well as 9 Civil War veterans.

A laminated map at the entrance indicates where all the graves are located. 


Of special interest is the grave of Abraham Kitchel who d. 1741. He was an early settler of Whippany and one of the 6 original judges of Morris County in 1739. He is also a 9th generation ancestor of Barbara Bush. 

It was schoolmaster John Richards who donated the lands for the burying yard and the first to be buried there in 1718. It is the oldest gravestone in the cemetery and was preserved in a granite monument by his descendants in 1914. 

One of my all time favorite gravestones is this one of John Bigelow, a skilled wood worker. The carving of the winged cherub is the most intricate and ornate in the burying yard. The gravestone was refurbished in 2002.

Joseph Tuttle was a blacksmith and a Colonel in the Morris County Militia in the French and Indian War. His grave is in the only horizontal vault above ground.

It was recently restored.

An interesting support frame protects the gravestone of Mary Sheldron who died in 1827 at age 53.


It was the first time I'd ever seen an American Beautyberry bush. Love that magenta!

Happy Quilting!

Copyright 2018, Barbara Schaffer


  1. I absolutely love looking at gravestones. These are beautiful. I found it interesting that it was called a burying ground as opposed to a cemetery so I looked it up and Wikipedia says that cemetery is simply a large burying ground. I have never heard the term burying ground used in Maine so I found this fascinating!

  2. A fascinating visit. I love checking out these small burying grounds. I have family originally from Massachusetts and would love to go back and explore.

  3. That's incredible ! In France, the cemetaries have graves which are dated circa the second part of the 19 th century but not too old...
    What a beautiful tribute to these persons...

  4. Old cemeteries fascinate me. I enjoyed this visit.
    And I just saw that same plant for the first time on my visit to MA last month. Love it!

  5. what a wonderful graveyard tour! We have some very very old graveyards around here, as you can imagine. I'll have to take a stroll through one day.
    I also love the winged angel marker carving!
    love that berry bush. The poke stalk looked pretty this fall too.

  6. Thank you for taking us along on this visit...this graveyard looks so well kept and preserved and I can see why you would want to linger and reflect as you stand by each grave marker...such intricate carvings too. There is an old graveyard near a campground where we stayed in Missouri not far from St. Louis. Most of the grave markers were from the Civil War era but sadly, were not kept up as well as the one in New Jersey.

  7. I love those old headstones. The cherub is so cute!!