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Letter: Thanks To Those Who Cleared a Historic Burial Ground in Leonardo

Joanne Peck of Middletown writes about a remarkable improvement in the Applegate Family Cemetery.

To whomever cleared out the small, old cemetery at the corner of Burlington Avenue and Cedar Avenue, thank you!

I've lived in this neighborhood for 30 years and have never had the opportunity to look at the old headstones in this cemetary. Each time I walked by, I thought about how sad and disrespectful it was to the poor souls who rested there to let the cemetary get so overgrown.

So, again, thank you. You did a wonderful job, whoever you are.

NJarhead September 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I never knew there was a cemetary there. Or if I did, I'd forgotten.
MiddletownResident September 17, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Joanne, I had no idea there was a cemetery near your house, I never noticed it. That is cool that someone did an unselfish act and cleaned it up. Will have to check it out next time we are up your way. We will call you soon.
Joanne Peck September 17, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I've known it was there since I moved here, but it was so overgrown and choked with weeds, trees and brush, there was no way to get near it. I believe a Boy Scout troop did do a clear-out at one time, but not to this extent. Huge trees were removed this time.
Michael Piatti September 17, 2012 at 05:40 PM
You can thank Middletown Township for the Adopt a Historic Cemetery program and the Girl Scouts of troop 1242 whose application was accepted. But before we can let the girl scouts do their thing, myself and one of the scout fathers began clearing the downed trees, saplings, poison ivy, beer cans and bottles. Yesterday was especially cool when we surgically removed the stump of a 150 year old cherry tree that was covering the bronze plaque shown in one of the pictures from Joanne. Local tree services have helped with some of the tree removal and the township is very responsive to pick up what we have cleared. We also have a nursery providing plants and flowering trees once the ground is cleared. Anyone who has time can help, there is much more to do.
MiddletownResident September 17, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Michael that is just great....Keep us posted on here when u guys plan on planting ect date time and all that..would be happy to donate my time in helping
Teresa Okuszka September 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM
i lived right down the street from that cemetery as a child and young adult...did a report on who was buried there in the 10th grade, it is very interesting.i have tried to get someone to help me clear it for years when i lived in town, my brothers boy scout troop did it in the early 80's..i walked by today..it looks amazing, i took my daughter who is also very interested in history. so thanks it looks great!!
Cheryl Spears September 19, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I have a girl scout troop out of Leonardo and would love to help in any way we can.
David Urena October 05, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I did some reseach on Mary Stillwell Applegate and theres a interested famliy history on google ebooks: http://books.google.com/books?id=FmRM8WwGbFwC&pg=PA592&lpg=PA592&dq=mary+stillwell+applegate&source=bl&ots=EdKZ2BXi3L&sig=PGSSxC04pmV-WQ6UErxxoDz9U5U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sv9uUOHbFKf30gHunoCIBQ&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=mary%20stillwell%20applegate&f=false
Michael Piatti October 28, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Please check out our Applegate Cemetery FB page: https://www.facebook.com/applegate.cemetery
Karen M. October 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Hello I am Karen M. Leader of troop 1242, I am proud to say my husband Hank and I are working hard to make the cemetery into a park like area. With our dear friends and scouts combining our efforts to make the property something to be proud of. Some area tree companies have helped us along the way including The Tree Guy, Hufnagel, and Boylans. We will be hosting a fundraiser party on Nov. 4th please come by the cemetery and show your support from 4 to 7pm.

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