Old Stone Church and Cemetery

Since 1784, this church has been ministering to this area. It is also known as Saddle River Reformed Church and Cemetery. According to church the website, this church is a “daughter church of The Old Paramus Church.” The original structure was built in 1789, while the current structure was built in 1819. You can find several Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans buried here, along with their families, and founding families. I think I get a little too excited when I find found families’ names, my apologies! However, there are some more recent burials, further away from the church.

On a personal view, this church was just so beautiful and warm. The grounds are kept very well and the keyholes on the doors are heart-shaped. You can also find “1789” and “1898” etched above the doors. I’m not sure what the 1898 signifies though. However, one part made me take a second glance on the church website: “This functioning Dutch Reformed Church is a place of worship where local farmers and slaves attended Sunday service.” I do know that New Jersey was the last Northern state to abolish slavery, but I never really thought about slaves attending services. (Side note: Yes, I do this a lot. I found a walking tour in South-Western NJ some of the Underground Railroad. I am really hoping to get there this Fall!)

People of note other than the veterans listed on the website:

Dietrich Wortmann: German-American who was an Olympic wrestler and later, made a career of being an architect.

Dollie: Not sure who she is or if the metal cross and cement bottom is part of a memorial of someone nearby? I may have missed something, but as you see in a picture below, it’s quite intriguing.

Jane Hatheway Donovan: She was born in 1918 and her headstone states she was a physician. I found this to extraordinary for a woman to have accomplished this! I was able to find that she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1939.

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