Memory Garden 8
Dumont Burying Ground, Hillsborough, NJ
This little place hides among the fame of the Duke Estates.
I had driven to the estate to walk one of their various pathways. I stopped in at the visitor center to get a bottle of water and saw they had a huge map of the estate grounds on the wall. There, tucked to the side where the words "cemetery". I immediately asked at the desk if it was easy to find. I was told you couldn't walk there, but the drive was only five minutes. Off I went. I had to drive quite a bit more to find it. When I did I saw why - it is set back, away from the road. A small set of two or three stairs was there but nearly hidden in the underbrush. The old brick wall almost completely gone.
I couldn't stay long - the ground was alive with the busy work of many bees and being allergic I thought it best to let them to their work undisturbed.
This was all farmland, with most of the tracts sold around 1890 to JB Duke.
This land originally belonged to Peter Baptist Dumont, who inherited it from his father. Peter is the first burial here, in 1744. There are about 50 graves here. All related to Dumont, via blood or marriage. The wall was first built in the late 1800's, rebuilt in 1912 and then fixed again some time later. It is a shame it is the way it is now.
Peter D. Vroom is buried here, he was NJ's 9th governor and the only governor from Somerset County.
I found this place so peaceful. These people were all laid to rest in a parcel of land that was cherished as a homestead, as a living part of their culture. It has remained farmland. The grounds need some upkeep, but they rest undisturbed by the modern world at large.
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