Bring Your Child To Work Day
So I did! My daughter Faith accompanied me on today's adventure! Since unemployed and still looking for work, technically this would count for leaving her out of school today. Oh but where to go? Of course I wanted to explore somewhere different, not local, so I took out my Weird N.J. Last Exit issue – a writer's top ten Garden State cemeteries to visit – St. Mary's Episcopal Church and Cemetery in historic Burlington, New Jersey. The only one on the list not over an hour away. Under 30 minutes, an easy ride! Very Gothic, indeed! Manageable size for a day's visit. First off, I must say this area of Burlington was absolutely beautiful, right out of a history book. It was also nice and quiet for the hustle and bustle of a week day. And spring's blossoms were opening and sharing their beauty!
In 1695, land was acquired here for a cemetery. St. Mary's Episcopal Church (the oldest Episcopal Church in New Jersey) was established in 1703. The old church still stands on the corner of Wood and Broad Street, where I even found three tombstones embedded right in the walls! The present day church was completed in 1854. With spring's beauty finally here and so many individuals to visit, I often get overwhelmed where to start! This gothic cemetery with so many stones, so close together and the vastness of the artwork in each! Often I visit cemeteries that have no church next to it. This churchyard and stunningly beautiful gothic revival style of architecture made this a most incredible visit! How many people do you know that find cemeteries breathtaking?
We came across two Vietnam War veterans, proudly giving brand new American flags to those veterans laid to rest there – all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Times are unfortunately are a changing. These gentlemen who proudly wear their veteran status caps, say how the young men of military status of today, do not care to volunteer their time to do such things as lay out flags for those who paved the way for our freedom, or volunteer time with such alliances as the American Legion. I told these men how grateful I am for their service and they appreciated me saying that. Other New Jersey historic notables are buried there, as well.
We both wander around, exploring on our own. It always saddens me that these stones, many from the early 1700's are barely legible anymore. Especially the table top tombs, really exposed to the weather, not many, if any were legible.
Faith needing a break and some food, what is right across the street that we could not resist – The Ghost Hunter Store – theghosthunterstore.com ! Everything you need as a paranormal investigator or to help rid your home of unwanted beings or even some fun treats. Paranormal investigator Dave welcomed this odd duo of cemetery explorers. I did have to ask about any haunted dolls he may have come across, and he had! Faith and I both would love the opportunity to become ghost hunters, but alas, enough on my plate. We did walk out with a tshirt and some other small items. Then off to Faith's choice of nourishment – Legend's Gormet Pizza and Salads. Well worth the visit. Super pizza!
After our amazing mushroom and black olive pizza, we went back to explore where we hadn't had a chance, Faith mainly enjoying her music at this point. I can't expect everyone to share my passion. I am always grateful for her early on enthusiasm! I discovered across a side street, the Burlington Quaker Meeting House, with it's back lot a cemetery, filled with all similar style, low lying gravestones. Including one large rock/memorial as his body is laid to rest nearby, to Indian Chief Ockanickon – "Be plain and fair to all, both Indian and Christian as I have been" – 1681, friend of the white man. I then made my way back to the car, trying to take different vantage point photos of the churchyard and church and making sure I didn't miss anything unique. That was enough for today. I had another cemetery to visit, but I know when to call it quits, especially with a companion today! On the way to and from, we also passed the Bristol Cemetery – looks worth a visit. Even though driving, I think I spied some funerary statuary. Thank you to my daughter Faith for your company and enthusiasm while it lasted. I bet no one else at school can say they explored a historic cemetery while at work with their parents!