Most people don’t pick a cemetery to hang out in on a sunny 80 degree spring day. Or any day for that matter. But it was Easter Sunday and John wanted to visit the grandparents before dinner, so we grabbed the cameras and visited his side of the family who have a long history in the Trenton area.
Riverview Cemetery is in Trenton, NJ, situated on a bluff across from the Delaware River. The grounds originated as a Quaker burial ground in the 17th century and is still an active (for lack of a better term) cemetery today. Riverview isn’t new to us as we go twice a year and every visit we seem to spend a little more time exploring and noticing something we didn’t remember from our last visit. This time we made sure to bring the cameras. Instead of seeing gloom, death or plain old creepiness, we walk through here and see art, history and hear the silent stories of those that helped build the area.
Here at rest are fathers, mothers, children, grandparents, business people, trail blazers, and heroes. If you are a “local,” plenty of names on the tombstones will ring a bell, from the street you grew up on or the school you attended or the park you played in as a child.
Trenton is very rich in history and a lot of that history comes alive, if you will, at Riverview. Memorialized here are a general and NJ governor, a passenger who perished on the Titanic, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, artists (guess where Grandma’s Lenox comes from?) and the founder of Taylor Pork Roll, one of the most popular products that “Trenton Makes, The World Takes.”
As odd as it may seem to some, we could spend hours walking the grounds and exploring the writings in stone. The grounds cover acres. There are hills. There is no clue of this being situated in the capital city or a major highway rushing below the bluffs as this is all blocked out by the landscape of those that passed over the centuries. Needless to say there is plenty to see and I don’t think we have covered a quarter of the grounds in our travels so far.
This visit we spent a little longer than usual, enjoying the beautiful weather soaking up our first attempts of starting our tans for 2017. We kept wandering and discovering and documenting. And of course, we paid our respects to John’s grandparents and great-grandparents.