Cemetery

Cemetery for earliest settlers

This week, we’ll cover THE DESERTED VILLAGE OF FELTVILLE

…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!

Reference:
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.)

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