Potter's Field was also called Newark City Cemetery,
Newark Municipal Graveyard and Floral Rest. It is located near Newark
Airport off Haynes Avenue by Route 1. It was established around
1869 for the poor. At that time it was three and a half acres. The
cemetery was closed in the early 1950s and the poor (welfare) were
to be buried in other cemeteries, such as Woodland Cemetery.
There are no known records for this cemetery. They were
either lost or destroyed.
After the 1950s, Potter's Field was turned into an industrial
site without removing the estimated 18,000 + deceased. An 1880 law
states that the remains must be removed and reburied or the land
cannot be used for another purpose.
As many people search for their ancestors and their history, they
have come to a place with no available records and no place to visit.
They have been denied the right to identify and/or reconcile their
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Since this has been written the city of Newark has agreed to clean
up the site. It will take over a year to do this.
From "Hand book and guide for the city of Newark,
New Jersey: carefully edited and compiled from authentic sources"
Newark Daily Advertiser Print, 1872:
"East of, and along side the track of the New Jersey railroad
at Waverly station, just below the city, is a plot of rising ground
on the verge of the meadows. Of this fifteen and a half acres were,
three years ago, purchased and appropriated by Common Council, as
a City Cemetery. Previously the poor had been buried in the potter's
field on Hamburg Place, and in a small graveyard formally connected
with the alms-house. The bodies in both places, amounting to about
4,500 from potter's field, and 500 from the alms-house, have all
been removed to the present Cemetery, and quite a number of individual
internments have taken pace beside. In addition to the keeper's
house, within the grounds, there are a few cottages along the northern
front, and Johnson's glue factory to the south. The small portion
as yet used for bury purposes, lies near the glue factory. Most
of the graves of course are without any memorial record. Some have
crosses, wooden headstones, and a very few have marble slabs. There
are no ornaments or walks within the grounds, but the site is exquisite,
with as fine a view of the city, and plain as is to be found anywhere,
and the whole place is most creditable to the authorities."
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From Bob MacAvoy:
James Oliver, died 8/10/1912, who was a Corporal in Company D of
the famous black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is buried
in Newark City Cemetery.