Cemetery for earliest settlers


…which isn’t half as spooky as it sounds.

This is the Feltville cemetery, within the Watchung Reservation. It’s a short hike from the church/store.

Only one of the five stones is original—the one for John Willcocks, who died on November 22, 1776. The other four stones were placed here in the 1960s, and none of them actually match up to the right body.

The Original.

There are thought to be about 24 bodies here from the first settlers (mid-1700s to mid-1800s, I’m guessing—the headstones have dates ranging from 1776 to 1802).

In 1736, Peter Willcocks was the first to settle in this immediate area (that is, what is now the Berkeley Heights portion of the Watchung Reservation). An Englishman from Long Island, he and his family (including his wife, Phebe [sic] Badgley Willcocks) began clearing the local forest. This set the scene for incoming settlers—who now had lumber AND farmland to settle. Brilliant!

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Eds.). (n.d.) A Self-Guided Tour of the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park. [Pamphlet.]

(This is part of a series on the Deserted Village of Feltville. Click here for other Feltville posts.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: