Twice in his career, Egbert T. Bush wrote about a small family burying ground in Delaware Township. The first time was in 1911, in a paper presented to the Hunterdon County Historical Society which was later published in the Hunterdon County Democrat. This was many years before Mr. Bush became a regular contributor to the Democrat.1
This is my second article on the neighborhood of Sandy Ridge in Delaware Township. The previous article was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock in 1905 (and heavily annotated by me.) Today’s article was written by Egbert T. Bush, over 25 years later.
Burials in the Rake Cemetery
In 1922, Hunterdon historian Hiram Deats visited the Rake Cemetery. He found 44 unlettered stones and 25 lettered ones. Those 25 stones were listed in the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter (vol. 3 no. 3, p. 2) and are give here.
In 2009, I wrote several articles concerning the Rake Cemetery in Sandbrook. They were published in the Delaware Township newsletter known as the Post, which is no longer being published. There is a website for the Post where its articles are archived, but it is very hard to use, and some links just don’t work. So, I’ve decided to revise and republish those articles here.
Here are two versions of the history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren in Hunterdon County. The first was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock and published in the Democrat-Advertiser on October 17, 1901. Short and sweet. The second one, a little bit longer, was written by Egbert T. Bush and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on March 26, 1931. Mr. Bush’s ‘history’ is truncated, and as he put it— “it is not the intent to give here anything more than the merest sketch of church history, an indispensable part in any sketch of the community.” He was always more interested in the members of a community than institutional histories, and so he spends more time on those who were buried in the three cemeteries associated with the church members.
There are three ways to write about the graves in a cemetery. First, a straight alphabetical list; second, chronologically by when people died, perhaps linked to who owned the cemetery at the time; and third, by the layout of the graves.
One of the oldest cemeteries in Delaware Township is also one of the loveliest, with a long view of Hunterdon County’s rolling hills and farm fields. It is surrounded by a stone wall and at one time had a wrought iron gate.
There is a tiny burying ground located on a plot of land across from the Delaware Township Municipal Building that is used during the summer by the Sergeantsville Farmers’ Market. It is hidden in a clump of trees, and very few people know of its existence.
The following is the keynote speech I delivered on September 19, 2015 for the 2nd Annual Cemetery Seminar, sponsored by the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society and others. It is somewhat modified to make it more readable, less like a speech.