Fall Historical Graveyard Tour: Remains to Be Seen

Morristown: Sunday October 28, 2012, 5pm-6pm • $12 per person

Join this special tour that explores the historic bones and decorative stones at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church graveyard in Morristown. Family funeral plans arranged by Morristown’s pre-eminent undertaker Lewis D. Bunn will be shared on this October evening. Bonnie-Lynn Nadzeika, former director of Morris County Historical Society and author of local history, will be joined by David Breslauer, former director of Macculloch Hall Museum, to lead visitors to both sides of the graveyard.

Buried at the church is Alfred Vail, inventor of the telegraph. Vail’s business partner was Samuel F.B. Morse. Morse, as a portrait painter had many friends and patrons throughout the United States especially in Washington, DC. Vail worked on the technical issues, while Morse was the promoter for the venture. With his prominence promoting the telegraph, he was credited for the Morse Code. Alfred Vail’s monument at St. Peter’s tells a different story. Not surprising, his family founded American Telegraph and Telephone, known today as AT&T.

Many of the Ford family, whose mansion served as George Washington’s Headquarters here in Morristown during the Revolution, remain at St. Peter’s churchyard. Gunpowder, romances, lawyers, and wealth, sleep beneath the yard in the Ford family graves.

George Macculloch and his wife Louisa rest on the other side of the yard. The Macculloch family plot, being on the east, was the most prominent location for the sun to rise on judgment day. Louisa Macculloch was Anglican and had to take a coach to Newark or Manhattan for church services; otherwise she attended Morristown’s Presbyterian Church. At Louisa’s request her husband and son-in-law Jacob W. Miller were founders of St. Peter’s in the 1828. George Macculloch, having lost his export fortune with the War of 1812, created the Morris Canal in 1826 connecting the Delaware and Hudson Rivers across New Jersey.

The tour will begin at St. Peter’s Church on the Miller Road side at 5pm. After the tour visit the 3rd annual Pumpkin Illumination at the Vail Mansion hosted by the Arts Council of the Morris Area.

 Space is limited, call for reservations: 973 631-5151. Mail your check to Morris County Tourism Bureau, 6 Court Street, Morristown NJ 07960. The tour is $12 per person.
Funding for this project was provided in part through the cooperative Marketing Grant Program of the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism

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