Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Riverview Cemetery, today a wedge of green between two major highways, is an oasis in the concrete and asphalt of the city where Trenton’s history is written silently in gravestones. Here in 1685, John Lambert conveyed two acres to the Chesterfield Friends Monthly Meeting for use as a burial ground. From these Quaker origins, continuing through a late 19-century expansion into a non-denominational graveyard and down to the present, Riverview has grandly occupied this bluff-top promontory.
For the first 170 years or so of its existence, the burial ground served the local Quaker community and includes the graves of several prominent Quakers in the Trenton area, among them the two founding settlers, Mahlon Stacy and Thomas Lambert. In 1857, Jacob Taylor acquired a half interest in a 26-acre lot bordering the burial ground, an event that soon set in motion the creation of Riverview Cemetery. In the following year, Taylor developed a plan to open a large modern graveyard around the Quaker burying plot and, with a group of investors, founded the Riverview Cemetery Company.
The first burial plot in the new cemetery was sold on
Riverview Cemetery was twice enlarged later in the 19th century with most of the expansion occurring to the north, since the canal, river and bluff edge prevented its spreading in other directions. In the 1880s, the core of the former Pine Grove estate, once owned by Joseph Bonaparte, was annexed. Another expansion of the cemetery was accomplished in 1887-88 aided by the professional landscape design firm of Vaux & Co. This company was headed by Calvert Vaux, the landscape architect who collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted on the design of Central Park in New York City and several other commissions.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Riverview Cemetery grew into one of Trenton’s most populous and popular cemeteries. Here may be found the graves of many of those most prominent in Trenton’s rise as a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution: Bowmans, Dickinsons, Dunhams, Ewings, Hildebrechts, Kusers, Maddocks,
The ravages of the Civil War are reflected in the close to 1,000 graves of veterans of the Union forces. Many Civil War veterans lie buried in the plot set aside for members of the Grand Army of the Republic, others are scattered elsewhere around the cemetery, as in the case of Lieutenant DeKlyn Lalor, Major General Gershom Mott and General George B. McClellan. McClellan, the general who commanded the Army of the Potomac and later became Governor of New Jersey (1878-81), was buried at Riverview Cemetery in 1885. His remains rest beneath a monumental granite shaft raised in his memory at the highest central point of the cemetery.
Who Lies There?
Riverview Cemetery sprawls over an area of almost 50 acres and is estimated to contain perhaps as many as 70,000 graves. The cemetery is still in active use and is respectfully maintained by the Riverview Cemetery Corporation, whose office is located on Centre Street. A genealogical sample of the cemetery’s extraordinary history and mortuary aesthetic is offered below …… but, better still, walk over and experience the place in person.
Erected 2004 by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Quakerism ⛪ series list.
Location. 40° 11.724′ N, 74° 45.426′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from New Jersey Route 29. This marker is in South River Walk park which is built over top of Route 29. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Natural Magnet for Native Americans (within shouting distance of this marker); Shipping on the Delaware (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ferries across the Delaware (about 600 feet away); South Riverwalk Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ice, Brewing and Bottles (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pre-17th Century Trenton Timeline (approx. 0.2 miles away); Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware (approx. 0.2 miles away); Quakers Lead the Settlement of West Jersey (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
More about this marker. The marker is at the southern edge of the southern half of the park. It faces its subject, Riverview Cemetery.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,633 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on February 2, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 21, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. 3. submitted on November 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.