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Jersey City Cemetery
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History



Historic site of multiple Revolutionary War skirmishes. In October of 1780, General Marquis de Lafayette joined with the American forces, at the request of General George Washington, to challenge the English on these very grounds. Records indicate that General Lafayette led 4000 French troops to assist the American Continental Army against the British troops.



An active Ammunition Bunker and Lookout Point used during the War of 1812, still stands proudly on the Cemetery grounds.



The Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery is one of the very first Garden Style landscape cemeteries established, which revolutionized cemeteries across the nation. It was also the first cemetery company founded in the State of New Jersey. Founded by a group of prominent Jersey City & New York City leaders, the cemetery is home to many of our great city's founding fathers and historic legends.



The Cemetery is the eternal resting place to hundreds and hundreds of Civil War Soldiers, many whom lost their lives in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. We are proud to protect and preserve them. Legend and early historians also suggest that the grounds played a major role in the freedom of thousands of slaves as a site of an underground tunnel connection known as the Underground Railroad. The tunnels may still exist below the cemetery's hills and hidden crypts, and are being further explored.



The Cemetery grounds were also used for military training for U.S. Army soldiers during World War I and II, and to our amazement, many remaining military artifacts have recently been discovered on the grounds.



Unfortunately, this very special Cemetery was neglected and eventually abandoned. This past summer, a new Board of Trustees was organized, and through the tremendous efforts of the new Board, some very special volunteers, and a supportive Community who believes in preserving their history, these grounds are now being protected and preserved on a volunteer basis.

The complete fascinating history of the Cemetery is being further explored and documented. We welcome any information you may wish to offer, whether it is of a historical nature, or about any individual or family members who might be interred at the Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery. We also welcome any contributions you can make, whether they be monetary or through volunteer efforts.

With your help, our goals include achieving State and National Historic Landmark Preservation Status to help ensure the perpetual preservation of this historic site. Our vision includes a Restoration of the Cemetery grounds and Caretaker House, and the development of a Historical Museum and Visitor Center, to provide education, and increase public knowledge and appreciation of our early American and Jersey City history, as well as an appreciation of the Cemetery's natural beauty and historical significance.

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435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, N.J. 07308     •     201 653-1360     •     info@jerseycitycemetery.org