Cedar View Cemetery on Memorial Day

The sign in front of Cedar View Cemetery reads, “On November 14, 1850, John B. Crawford, a wealthy area farmer and former slave owner sold for $60 a 2.05 acre tract to 14 black men, ‘to be used for a burying ground’…He indicated the tract was divided into 24 equal lots, assigning them as follows (lot number in parentheses):

“Silas Reave (1), Hosea Reaves (2), Joseph Reaves (3), Elijah Frost (4), Jesse Frost (5), Edward Shemo (6), Lloyd Johnson (7), Samuel Schanck (8), Jacob Wall (9), Francis Beldo (10), James Taylor (11), John Holmes and Samuel Kearny (13), Alexander Frost (all remaining lots)

“On March 24, 1852 Alexander Frost sold lot 14 to Shores Frost. A map of the cemetery at the timewas part of this deed & showed the lots to be of a very large size: 38 by 99 feet. The earliest dated stone was for Ellis, son of Lloyd and Jager Johnson, who died on June 3, 1864 at age 9 Years & 5 Months.

“Approximately twelve gravesites have been uncovered for ‘Colored Troops’ veterans of the Civil War.”

The cemetery was restored in November 2015 through the combined efforts of the students and faculty of Monmouth University, (under the direction of Dr. Joelle Zabotka), the African-American Special Interest Group of the Monmouth County Genealogy Society, Grabas Institute for Learning, Boy Scout Troop 110 of Lincroft, Pilgram Baptist Church, Middletown Landmarks Commission, Monmouth County Historical Commission and Saint Leo the Great Church.

Long neglected primarily because of confusion over ownership, and thick with weeds, briars, and fallen trees, the African-American burial ground is on property across the street from the Lincroft First Aid Building on Hurley’s Lane and adjoining St. Leo the Great’s Roman Catholic Church and school on Newman Springs Road.

Cedar View Cemetery is located at 60 Hurleys Lane, Lincroft, NJ

On Memorial Day, the Friends of Cedar View will host a memorial service at the cemetery beginning at 2:00 pm. The program is planned as follows:

*Invocation: Pastor Terrence K. Porter, Pilgrim Baptist Church;

*Historic Plaque presentation by Middletown Mayor Tony Perry and Township Committee;

*Short Talk: A brief history of the Cedar View Cemetery by local historian and author Rick Geffken;

*Wreath Laying in memory of the Civil War Colored Troops; and

*Military presentation and 21 Gun Salute by the 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry

About the Friends of Cedar View:

The mission of the organization is to preserve and protect the African-American Cedar View Cemetery founded on November 14, 1850 in Lincroft, New Jersey; to ensure the continued solemnity of this hallowed ground; and to bring increased awareness of the cemetery’s unique historical and cultural value to the public.

This event and Friends of Cedar View are supported by: Church of St. Leo the Great, Middletown Township Council, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Engineering & Land Planning Associates, Inc. (E&LP), Pilgrim Baptist Church, and T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center

Donations are welcome and can be made via check to Friends of Cedar View PO Box 371, Lincroft, NJ 07738. The Friends of Cedar View is a registered 501 (c) 3 Organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...