To all your history buffs, please visit Bergen County, NJ for interesting experience of visiting our historical sites and restaurants. Check out our Team Project from Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. “From Revolution to Renewal-A Historical Tour of Bergen County”.
I had the most interesting semester for Spring Term at the college where I work. Everything started off fine. We had classes in the the afternoon, good discussions on Marketing and had a very successful Team Project marketing the Lyndhurst Snack Shop, the new Bulldog Cafe, for business (See Day One Hundred and Fifty-Nine in MywalkinManhattan.com):
I had just handed out the next Team Project, “From Revolution to Renewal: Exploring the Historic Bergen County”, a major tourism project I wanted to the students to work on for the remainder of the semester the week before the break. I had the students to break up into groups and get to know one another and get their game plans…
The three times I have visited the Gethsemane Cemetery, it was a very quiet place to reflect on the people who are buried here. Located by a stretch of Route 46 West, you would hardly notice it was there. Sitting on a small hill above the highway lies some of our Counties most prominent Black citizens as well as just ordinary people and freed slaves who were denied entry into other church cemeteries. They were interned here in their own cemetery.
Gethsemane Cemetery is located west of the Hackensack River in southwest Bergen County on a one acre sandy hill located in Little Ferry, NJ. The 1860 deed of sale identifies it as a “burial ground for the colored population of the Village of Hackensack.” In 1901, it was turned over to seven African-American trustees and incorporated as Gethsemane Cemetery.
The entrance to the Gethsemane Cemetery in Little Ferry, NJ
Although there are only 50 graves stones, the graves of over 500 people have been documented, including that of Elizabeth Dulfer, who was born a slave (c 1790), freed in 1822 and died in 1880. She became one of the wealthiest business owners and landholders in Bergen County. Three Civil War veterans, Peter Billings, Silas M. Carpenter and William Robinson are also buried here.
Gethsemane Cemetery figured the center of controversy surrounding the burial of Samuel Bass, sexton of Hackensack’s First Baptist Church. When he died on January 22, 1884, his family wanted to bury him in the Hackensack Cemetery but was refused due to his race. Mr. Bass was then buried in Gethsemane Cemetery.
New Jersey Governor, Leon Abbett, protested the denial: “The Legislator should see that the civil and political rights of all men, whether white or black are protected…It ought not be tolerated in this State that a corporation whose existence depends on the Legislature’s will…should be permitted to make a distinction between a white man and a black man.” Two months later in March 1884, New Jersey’s “Negro Burial Bill” was passed desegregating cemeteries in New Jersey.
In 1985, Bergen County acquired the neglected cemetery and dedicated it as a County Historic Site. It was entered into the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 1994 for the historical significance it played in the enactment of N.J.’s early Civil Rights legislation and for containing evidence of West African burial customs.
The County of Bergen marker
In 2003, the county celebrated the dedication of new meditation areas and historic interpretive panels that tell Gethsemane’s story and lists the names of 515 people known to be buried here.
The cemetery markers
New mediation areas and historic panels tell the story of the cemetery and list the names of 515 people who were buried here.
The cemetery is open only a few times a year to the public for special holidays and events. I came for the Juneteenth Celebration of the emancipation of slavery from the Union on June 19th. There was an independent tour on your own of the cemetery and the panels. If you had any questions, there are County representatives to guide you through.
(Information taken from the Bergen County Parks System guide).
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Bergen County Parks Directory. Please call or email the above information for more details on visiting the cemetery. It can be opened for private tours.
The Ridgewood Arts Council recently came to talk to my Support Group that is based in Ridgewood, NJ and went over the different programs that they sponsor. This is more information on the organization.
The mission of The Ridgewood Arts Council (RAC) is to support and promote the vital role all arts play in our lives, the lives of our children and in our community at large.
Accomplishments: In its first year as a volunteer organization formed by the Village Council, the RAC has established a website, an online interactive community arts calendar and a permanent art installation entitled Ridgewood Art at Village Hall.
Future Goals: Endeavors of the RAC for the future include supporting existing arts organizations and events throughout Ridgewood, hosting our own unique arts-related programs and instituting an ongoing scholarship program for Ridgewood students involved with the arts.
Support Needed: No organization such as the RAC can be sustained without the hard work of volunteers and we welcome your involvement. The Ridgewood Arts Foundation, an independent New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation with 501 (c) (3) tax status, has been formed to assist in the promotion of the arts in Ridgewood through the use of private donations. To join the Ridgewood Arts Council (program arm) or to become a trustee of the Ridgewood Arts Foundation (fund-raising arm), please email email@example.com.
Disclaimer: This information was take directly from the Ridgewood Arts Council handout and for more information on the organization, please check their email site or Google the organization.
This museum was established in 1980 and is one of the only rare few in the United States dedicated solely to the arts of Africa. Its permanent collections, exhibited on a rotating basis, offer a unique advantage in the study and research of sub-Saharan sculpture and painting, costumes, textiles and decorative arts, religion and folklore.
The main hall of the museum
The African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers is one of five museums around the world founded and maintained by the Society of African Missions, an International Roman Catholic missionary organization that serves the people of Africa.
The stained glass windows and displays
The museum is the continued vision of SMA’s founder, Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac (1813-1859). The French-born clergyman urged his Society to respect and preserve the culture of the peoples they serve, the unique among the missionaries of his time. (This information is provided by the museum).
Their current exhibitions is on the “Africanizing of Christian Art” which shows the 20th Century encounter between Catholic Christianity and the visual culture of the Yoruba, a prominent west African people of southwest Nigeria under the conditions of late colonization (This information provided by the museum).
The hallway off the main room
The collection contains many works in the form of masks, textile work, religious figurines and decorative arts. Each display case shows a different theme in the art. The museum is the main hallway of the church. It grounds are also nice to walk around in in the nice weather.