2014 “SAFE DAY”
WOODLAND CEMETERY – NEWARK, NJ
FAMILY GRAVESITE VISITATION & TOMBSTONE RECORDING DAY
SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014 – 10:00 A.M.
9:00 a.m. for volunteers
(rain date Sunday, June 8)
Hello old friends – and welcome to our new friends. We’re
delighted to announce that “we’re back.” We fully
expect the cemetery to be in decent shape for Safe Day and we just
have to hope for good weather.
We are not affiliated with Woodland Cemetery, but work as a volunteer
group in an effort to preserve tombstone inscriptions and help family
researchers find their ancestors through our computer database.
We look forward to seeing you again this year. For new people who
have never had the opportunity to join us, this is your chance to
visit your family gravesite/s in the security of a group. Each year
the Newark Police Dept. has provided us with on-site protection,
for which we are very grateful.
For those who plan on attending, we ask that you allow a little
extra time to help record tombstone inscriptions and/or take digital
pictures if you are able. Please come even if you are by yourself
- we'll pair you up with someone so you will not be alone. Anyone
who will be searching for their family gravesites and needs help
in locating them, please e-mail or call us by May 18 to let us know
what gravesite/s you will want to visit. We will not have all of
the cemetery books with us – so you must request a map by
May 18th. This way we can check for your family names in the computer
database and prepare a map in advance in order to guide you. There
is no office at the cemetery. To everyone: please let us know if
you will be attending so we will have an approximate headcount.
For anyone who cannot attend, but would like tombstone inscriptions
and pictures of their family gravesites, we will make an effort
to get these for you on Safe Day. Please make your request for pictures
with John or me by May 18th and we will try to get them for you,
The day is Saturday, June 7th at 10:00 a.m. with a rain date of
Sunday, June 8th, again at 10:00 a.m. If it rains on both days,
a new date will be set at a later time. If there is a question on
the weather, anyone may call in the morning between 8:00-8:30 at
973-748-0985 to find out if we're still "on". The entrance
for Woodland Cemetery is located at 670 South 10th Street between
Springfield and Avon Avenues, Newark, NJ. Directions - take the
Garden State Parkway to the Springfield Ave. Irvington Exit #143.
Take Springfield Ave East to South 10th Street. Make a right onto
South 10th Street. The cemetery is located a quarter mile down on
the left side. Please drive into the cemetery and follow the main
roadway until you see cars and the volunteers.
Here are a few suggestions if you are planning on joining us to
record tombstone inscriptions: Wear long pants, a short-sleeved
shirt, with a long sleeved shirt/sweatshirt over it. Wear socks
and either sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes of some sort. If you
will be spending a few hours with us, bring some cold bottled water
or soda. Also:
· pencils/pens - we'll supply the paper
· clip board (if you have one; if not, we will have some
· digital camera - if you have one, please download all
of your pictures off your camera prior to coming so that your memory
card is empty. We may be able to download the pictures from your
camera right on site. If not, we’ll ask that you either email
them to us, or put them on a disk and mail them to us.
· whisk broom or small brush to clean off inscriptions
· small garden tool to pull back weeds
· plastic bucket to put all your "stuff" in -
your tools, camera, chalk, etc. - it makes it easier for you to
carry everything from stone to stone
· old towel or a kneeling cushion-- some tombstones are
only inches above ground
· folding beach chair to rest
Any questions, feel free to e-mail or call either of us:
Mary Lish 973-667-0450 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Sass 973-748-0985 JAJS918@aol.com
Woodland Cemetery was first incorporated as West Newark Cemetery
in 1855. The name was later changed to Woodland Cemetery. Most ethnic
groups are represented even though in the early days it was call
"The German Cemetery". It was founded by the Hayes and
This cemetery has 55 acres and has become the final resting place
for a significant number of Greek ancestors, African-Americans and
many War Veterans including about 336 from the Civil War. There
are more then 80,000 burials in Woodland.
Woodland Cemetery is a non-profit company with a small trust fund.
It is managed by a board of trustees and is maintained by a hired
contractor. The cemetery is private property. The cemetery itself
is owned by individual plot and grave owners. All graves are in
the ground. There are no above ground vaults."
Since the 1960's Woodland Cemetery has endured vandalism and many
of the other problems that have inflicted the inner City of Newark.
In the last few years things have improved but there is still a
lot to be done.
There has been the desecration of more than 11,000 graves of babies,
children, and adults that have been buried over with people that
are unrelated to that family. The first family graves are gone forever.
This destruction includes the graves of several Civil War Veterans.
The Woodland Cemetery Board of Trustees was sued in 1999 because
of this desecration. The State of New Jersey was also named in this
lawsuit because they had been notified in the 1970's that the destruction
was going on. The lawsuit was dropped because Woodland Cemetery's
money was in a trust fund and could not be touched. The state was
released from the lawsuit for reasons unknown.
The phone number of Woodland Cemetery is 973-824-7295, and reaches
Rosemary Hilbert, President of the Board of Directors. For record
searchs, contact Mary Lish via email (click on her name below) or
via mail or contact John Sass by mail (see below).
Jersey Historical Society has the actual index cards
of Woodland Cemetery's interments that starts around the late 1890's
and goes through the 1970's. The society's address is 52 Park Place,
Newark, NJ 07102. Their phone number is 973-596-8500, extension
249 (library section). Due to budget cutbacks, they are only open
The gate entrance for Woodland Cemetery is located at 670 South
10th Street between Springfield and Avon Avenues, Newark, NJ. Directions
- take the Garden State Parkway to the Springfield Ave. Irvington
Exit #143. Take Springfield Ave East till you see the cross street
- South 10th. Make a right onto South 10th St.
All records have been computerized through
the current year. For this information contact Mary Lish (by email
or US postal mail) or John Sass (by US postal mail). Please supply
Return Address (for US postal mail)
Two US Post Office Stamps (for US postal mail)
Name of Person who you are researching plus Woodland (i.e. WOODLAND-SCHMIDT)
Date of Death or Approximate years you believe they died within
Maiden name (if applicable)
Any other information that you believe will help in the search.
263 Coeyman Avenue
Nutley, NJ 07110-1425
76 Valentine Road
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR COMPLETION, AND THANKS MARY,
FOR A FINE JOB AND FOR THE HELP YOU HAVE GIVEN TO THE VISITORS OF
From "Hand book and guide for the city of Newark,
New Jersey: carefully edited and compiled from authentic sources"
Newark Daily Advertiser Print, 1872:
"Woodland Cemetery occupies a very beautiful situation off
Springfield Avenue, opposite South Tenth Street, and on the highest
point of the hill towards Irvington. The Company was incorporated
in 1855, and the grounds comprise an area of about thirty-five acres.
Passing the gateway, through a pleasant grove, and advancing under
the shadow of 'innumerable leaves,' we find this rural grave yard
overlooking the wide valley that stretches from the more southern
portion of the city. Almost before the eye is caught by the mementos
of the 'city of the dead' it is claimed for a passing glimpse of
the city of the living. Churches and spires cluster to the north,
and the magnificent panorama so often mentioned in these pages,
of river, bay and distant hill, lie like a map, in all their distinctive
beauty, immediately below. The Cemetery itself is rapidly becoming
worthy of its delightful situation. Though incorporated in 1855,
it is only of late years, that large and systematic improvements
have begun to be carried out, but now it has many handsome monuments,
perhaps, individually noticeable, for extreme and costly elegance,
but a large number are very tasteful. Gothic and turreted spires,
tapering shafts surmounted by urns, and broken columns handsomely
draped, are the predominating features. At first, the Cemetery was
largely German, and still, the visitor is struck with the large
number of monuments that bear the German letter. Everywhere, there
is the language of Fatherland. From the unequaled beauty of its
situation, however, it is now eagerly sought by our native population,
and the number of interments are equal to those of the other Cemeteries
of the city. The lot enclosures are principally laurel. On single
graves, rude crosses, and home made boxes for wreathes and flowers
- those fond tributes of affection - are very numerous. East and
north, there is a perfect wilderness of baby graves, the young being
mostly buried side by side in one spot. On these are placed every
device that loving hands can frame. Many a parent all unused to
carpentry, has made a bower, or a cross, or at least some rustic
frame work, to mark the quiet bed of his little one. It is in contemplation
to erect a chapel on Chapel Avenue, to be used for services during
stormy weather. Below it will have vaults for the reception of the
dead, while awaiting a more propitious day or the section of lots.
Provision will also be made for a number of private vaults, so arranged
that the outer walls of the chapel can be used for the erection
of memorial tablets. The situation of the chapel will be an unusually
fine one; on the verge of the hill, and commanding a view in clear
weather, of the spire of Trinity Church, New York, and all the more
striking features of country that lie between. When the walks and
paths have undergone contemplated improvements, there will be few
pleasanter Cemeteries anywhere than Woodland."