Cemeteries are quiet places that we visit to remember loved ones who passed away. Each individual’s final resting place is unique and tells us about the deceased person’s life. Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey, a historic site since 1975, a burial ground that opened on January 24, 1844, is a site where many distinguished Newarkers are buried. When you go to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, you will notice the Gothic style pillars at the entrance. Overlooking the Passaic River and containing many varieties of trees, this graveyard has a quiescent ambience.
Horace Baldwin, who was a jewelry maker in Newark, who worked in his father’s business, Baldwin & Co., was the one who devised the idea of creating Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The first person buried at the cemetery was Elizabeth Jacques, a young lady who died when she was just thirty years old. Ever since then, 7,000 burials have taken place.
Several Newarkers who led remarkable lives are interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery including Seth Boyden, Marcus Lawrence Ward and Peter Ballantine. Seth Boyden was an inventor who worked in Newark, New Jersey and held many patents for his creations. There is a statue honoring Boyden at Washington Park in Newark, New Jersey. Marcus Lawrence Ward, who was a humanist and a politician, became the governor of New Jersey. Peter Ballantine, who was an immigrant from Scotland, made his American dream come true when he founded the Patterson & Ballantine Brewing Company in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey. John Ballantine, Peter Ballantine’s son, inherited his father’s business and lived at the John Ballantine House with his family, a Victorian era mansion that still stands today and is now a part of the Newark Museum.
Walking through Mount Pleasant Cemetery is not only a way to explore Newark’s past but also a way to remember the exceptional Newarkers who made our renaissance city great.