From the earliest memorials used by Native Americans to the elaborate structures of the present day, Richard Veit and Mark Nonestied use grave markers to take an off-beat look at New Jersey’s history that is both fascinating and unique.
New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones presents a culturally diverse account of New Jersey’s historic burial places from High Point to Cape May and from the banks of the Delaware to the ocean-washed Shore, to explain what cemeteries tell us about people and the communities in which they lived. The evidence ranges from somber seventeenth-century decorations such as hourglasses and skulls that denoted the brevity of colonial life, to modern times where memorials, such as a life-size granite Mercedes Benz, reflect the materialism of the new millennium. Also considered are contemporary novelties such as pet cemeteries and what they reveal about today’s culture. To tell their story the authors visited more than 1,000 burial grounds and interviewed numerous monument dealers and cemetarians.
This richly illustrated book is essential reading for history buffs and indeed anyone who has ever wandered inquisitively through their local cemeteries.
About the Author
RICHARD VEIT is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University. He is the author of Digging New Jersey's Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State, winner of the 2003 New Jersey Historic Preservation Award.
MARK NONESTIED has been a staff member of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission since 1991. He currently serves as the Director of Exhibits and Programs at a historic site in Piscataway.