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First Baptist Church Cemetery
125 South Main Street
Mercer County
New Jersey  USA
Postal Code: 08520

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Cemetery notes and/or description:
AKA: The Old Baptist Graveyard; Hightstown Baptist Cemetery; Hightstown Baptist Graveyard; Baptist Burying Ground; Baptist Church of Hightstown.

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From (Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society, Cranbury, New Jersey):

The Baptist Church in Cranbury was founded in 1745 with John Hight (Hightstown) as one of the 17 original members. The first meeting house was built in 1748 on property occupied later by the Spice Mill. The church was used for 40 years, then sold to Dr. Stites and moved. The congregation moved to Hightstown in 1785. The front part of the church grounds was sold and the burial grounds by 1882 were neglected and contained only 4 standing headstones.

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From the Hightstown-East Windsor Historical Society, May-June 1998, article by Richard S. Hutchinson:

. . . "by 1925 pressure to modernize the church facilities at Hightstown resulted in proposals to replace the 1834 brick structure . . . and to remove the eyesore posed by the graveyard. Over the years the graveyard had badly deteriorated and become a maintenance problem, and since few of the current church members had any close connection with persons buried there, the proposal to level the burial ground met with little dissent . . . Soon afterward the 1834 building and the graveyard were destroyed.

It wasn't until 1969, that the church's destroyed cemetery came back into the forefront of the history of death, went for naught. In August of that year, the church began construction to extend the rear of the church's Christian Education building which meant digging toward the location of the previous cemetery. . . During this construction, the contractor working on the project "encountered headstones piled on top of each other, and some human remains." The work on the project was halted by this discovery and everyone headed to court. The work did not continue until September 25th of that year after the Mercer County court issued an order to allow for the relocation of the human remains uncovered during the construction.

Church officials judged the remains to be those of Ann Allen (died 1875), Nancy Chamberlin, Emerson Creque, Hettie K. Creque, Orpha Giberson, Addison Mount, Mary Elizabeth Mount (died 1843), Rebecca Mount (died 1841), Sarah Matilda Mount (died 1849), John Wyckoff Slack, Peter B. Slack and his wife Abigail Applegate, and Thomas Slack and his wife Rachel. The human remains unearthed were later buried together in the far rear of the church property under a bronze marker which read "Beneath this marker are buried the few unidentifiable remains of graves transferred from that portion of the old church burial grounds now occupied by the stair tower on the east side of Eaches Chapel. November 10, 1969." It was reported that among the stones uncovered in the pile of gravestones during the excavation for this building project were those of Rev. Peter Wilson, the second pastor of the church, who was born in Windsor Township on the 14th of May in 1753 and the lower half of the broken stone of Rev. John Seger, the third pastor of the church, who was born in New York on the 4th of February 1786."
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From the "Hightstown New Jersey 250th Anniversary, 1721 - 1971", booklet:

The Baptist Burying Ground
There was a burial ground in the rear of the Baptist Church property, Main Street, Hightstown, the earliest gravestone bearing the date July 4, 1790. Burial was discontinued some years ago and the gravestones were removed when the Eaches Memorial Chapel was built in 1926. A chart with the location of the graves and the inscription on the stones was made by Thomas Applegate, Sr.

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Entered by: Linda Applegate Brown, 19 August 2009
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First Baptist Church Cemetery
Added by: Linda Applegate Brown
First Baptist Church Cemetery
Added by: Linda Applegate Brown
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