New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape

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It gets better. Guess what the nameplate on the door reads? Did this person just have a fascination with Poe? Or is it someone who knew him well Lenore, perhaps?


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  • New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones-History in the Landscape | Cemetery | Headstone?

It is plain to see the figure was indeed mounted there until fairly recently, but by talking to the superintendent, we learned that the statuette had been stolen in the late s. We were also told that at one time the door even had a marble doorknob, but due to acid rain and deterioration, the knob broke off or withered away. The name of the deceased, Truman F. Betts, MD, appears below this, accompanied by his death date: October 11, Aged 28 years, 3 months, and 28 days.

New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape

The Riverview Cemetery calls this stone the monument of mystery, because the man who is buried there is a bit of a mystery himself. According to an obituary, Truman Betts died in Trenton by taking his own life, after traveling to Florida and Europe to try and regain his failing health. Did Truman himself design the stone in anticipation of his death, much like Poe, who was preoccupied with death and the hereafter?

New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones presents a culturally diverse account of New Jersey's historic burial places from High Point to Cape May and from the banks of the Delaware to the ocean-washed Shore, to explain what cemeteries tell us about people and the communities in which they lived. The evidence ranges from somber seventeenth-century decorations such as hourglasses and skulls that denoted the brevity of colonial life, to modern times where memorials, such as a life-size granite Mercedes Benz, reflect the materialism of the new millennium.

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Also considered are contemporary novelties such as pet cemeteries and what they reveal about today's culture. To tell their story the authors visited more than 1, burial grounds and interviewed numerous monument dealers and cemetarians.

New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape

This richly illustrated book is essential reading for history buffs and indeed anyone who has ever wandered inquisitively through their local cemeteries. He currently serves as the director of exhibits and programs at a historic site in Piscataway.


  1. New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape.
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