The Union Cemetery on Franklin Avenue dates back to the first half of the 1700s, when Johannes Van Blarcom set aside an area of his property to become a burial place. The earliest readable stone is from 1764 and thought to mark the grave of a slave girl because there is no surname given. Johannes Van Blarcom’s daughter, who died in 1725, is alleged to be buried there also. Various community groups have volunteered to maintain the cemetery, including the Wyckoff Historical Society. In 2018, dead trees, underbrush, and poison ivy were removed.
Eagle Scout Projects
For his Eagle Scout project, Brendan Quill of Troop 210 cleared the way for new wood chip paths throughout the cemetery in the spring of 2019. Members of his troop also helped.
A second Eagle Scout project was completed of 2020 when Mehdy Kamel of Troop 89 cleared the front cemetery entrance of debris to expose and rebuild the stone wall that anchors the original main entrance. Mehdy and members of his troop worked diligently to refurbish Union Cemetery entrance back to its glory. Mehdy’s Eagle Scout project included removing the overgrown bushes and weeds and rebuilding the stone wall. The Society also plans to grade the dirt and rock path to the cemetery. The “Union Cemetery” sign was temporarily removed but will be reinstalled after the pathway grading is complete.
The third Eagle Scout Scout project also was completed in 2019. Luke Ramson of Troop 210 completed building a sturdy staircase leading to the east entrance of Union Cemetery. Previously, the only way to enter the side entrance was to precariously navigate a slippery and crumbling paved ramp. Now there is an easy and safe way to access the cemetery from the Assembly of God church parking lot.
The Society appreciates all the Eagle Scout projects – the most recent ones and over the years – to help preserve Union Cemetery and to help keep it safe for visitors.
A well-received WHS Union Cemetery tour was conducted in October 2019. Members of the WHS shared stories with attendees about those interred there. Master Carver Robert Carpenter also was on hand to answer questions about the many headstones he unearthed and repaired for the WHS. Most are early Van Blarcom family members as the cemetery was one of the original family cemeteries. Learn more about the Van Blarcom homes here.
In 2020 the society created “Headstones & Headphones”, an audio tour telling the stories of six local residents interred at Union Cemetery.