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The first cemetery of Bergen was on the south side of Vroom street, just outside of the southeast corner of the palisade of the new town, where it is said there was a little fort for protection against the Indians. In this burial ground the first church was built, on the site now occupied by Dominie Cornelison's family vault, and fronting on Vroom street, facing Tuers avenue. After the cemetery had been used over seventy years, in 1738 the second burying ground was opened on the southwest corner of Vroom street and Bergen avenue. These older cemeteries were not laid out in family lots, but the graves were made in any place convenient, and thus the last resting places of the different members of a family were seldom near together.

For nearly two centuries these two burial grounds were the only ones in this vicinity. In the fall of 1829 an episode occurred which led to the opening of the Jersey City Cemetery. One morning a passer-by saw the body of a drowned man washed ashore at Harsimus; he drew it up on the grass, and after a little several others gathered there and in the discussion that followed it was decided to give the body suitable burial and mark the grave with a stone that it might be identified in case any friends of the dead man might eventually be found. The little group contributed a sum sufficient, as they supposed, to make the desired provision, and a committee was appointed to attend to the, matter, and see that the body was properly buried in the cemetery of the Bergen Church. The sexton charged $12 to open a grave, which seemed to the people of Jersey City such an enormous 'price that it aroused universal indignation, which resulted in a public meeting at Hugh McCutcheon's Farmer's Hotel at 42 York street (quite a celebrated tavern of the day), at which it was decided to open a new cemetery and

no longer be dependent upon that of the Bergen Church. Subscriptions were taken and a cemetery company was formed of which David C. Colden, one of the associates, and at that time Mayor of New York, was President, Robert Gilchrist was Treasurer, and J. D. Miller was Secretary. The result, was the purchase of five and a half acres on the hill-side south of the Newark Turnpike, and the Jersey City Cemetery was opened, at that time a quiet, country place, where under the drooping willows, many families, prominent in the early life of Jersey City were laid to rest far from the noise of the young city; but with the passing years, the city has extended out to and far beyond their resting place, all about them are city streets and a railroad now runs along at the foot of the hill.

In 1831 or thereabouts, the third burial ground of the Bergen Church, east of Bergen avenue and south of Vroom street, was bought of Aaron Tuers for $500, and surveyed and laid out in fourteen foot lots by Colonel Sip. These lots were sold at $5 each, the, gore lots being reserved for the poor. In 1849 the New York Bay Cemetery was opened; it is one of the largest Protestant cemeteries in the county, embracing about one hundred acres, sloping to the waters, of the bay, a very beautiful location on Ocean and Garfield avenues.

About 1857 Abraham Spier, while acting as sexton for the Bergen Church, laid out a burying ground south of and adjoining the west end of the second church cemetery, which is still known as Spier's Cemetery. Since then the Catholics have opened a cemetery south of Communipaw avenue, and west of West Side avenue, Jersey City has other cemeteries outside of the city limits, of more recent organization.

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