Preserving Hunterdon County History

New Jersey Cemetery Association admits Swackhammer as first historic cemetery

New Jersey Cemetery Association admits Swackhammer as first historic cemetery

The Swackhammer Cemetery which is owned by the Mount Amwell Project has been admitted as a member of the New Jersey Cemetery Association (NJCA) for 2017. We believe this is the first member cemetery that is inactive and of a historic nature. The NJCA traditionally represents only active New Jersey cemeteries. The board of trustees approved the Swackhammer membership after Dave Reading met with Executive Director Judy Welshons, legislative advocate Matt Halpin, Treasurer Ed Faulkner, and directors Jonathon Pace, Richard Ralph, and Mark Sweatlock on January 24th. This is a significant step forward in our efforts to improve statutory protection for abandoned, inactive cemeteries due to the influence and scope of the NJCA.

The New Jersey State Association of Cemetery was organized at Trenton, on September 14, 1932. On November 7, 1963, the Certificate of Incorporation was amended changing the name of the Association to New Jersey Cemetery Association and also amending the membership requirements from cemetery officials to cemeteries. The Association fosters the following commitments to its member cemeteries and the public: Nurturing of positive consumer relationships by promoting high ethical standards and the adoption of policies that promote a lasting memorial to the families we serve; Proactive leadership on legislative, regulatory and legal issues and the creation of mutually beneficial relationships with state, regional, international and allied associations; Promoting the value of selecting and funding cemetery services in advance of need, including the education of the public concerning pre-arrangement procedures; Support for the maintenance and beautification of all cemetery properties to the end that they remain civic assets within their community; Fostering of member cemeteries as guardians of a nation's heritage and as places of fitting tribute to the memory of those who have gone before us.

The Mount Amwell Project is optimistic that the NJCA membership will be mutually beneficial to both parties in the coming years.