February 16, 2024


Derek Sands

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Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs invites public for self-guided tours of African American historic site

(HACKENSACK, NJ) – The Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs (DCHA) are disappointed to announce that due to weather conditions from Tuesday’s snowstorm, Gethsemane Cemetery will not be open for visitation this weekend. However, DCHA invites the public to commemorate Black History Month at the historic Gethsemane Cemetery site in Little Ferry the following weekend on Saturday, February 24th  and Sunday, February 25th from 11am-2pm, for self-guided tours.

Gethsemane Cemetery was founded in 1860 as a burial ground for Hackensack’s African American population as they were not permitted to be buried in the general Hackensack cemetery due to their race. The graves of over 500 people have been documented. Among those buried are formerly enslaved persons, local business owners, and two Civil War veterans.

The DCHA is dedicated to preserving the often-neglected history of Black Americans. Touring Gethsemane Cemetery provides an insight into an underrepresented aspect of Bergen County history.

No reservations necessary.

 Who: The Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs

  • What: Self-guided tour of Gethsemane Cemetery
  • When: Sat.-Sun., Feb. 24-25, from 11am-2pm.
  • Where: Gethsemane Cemetery – Between Summit Place & Liberty Street (entrance on Summit Place) North of Rt. 46, Little Ferry
  • Why: To educate the public and honor an underrepresented aspect of Bergen County History.

 The public can also access a recorded tour of Gethsemane Cemetery on the Bergen County website featuring historian Dr. Arnold Brown of Englewood, who was instrumental in saving this location. The Cemetery is owned by Bergen County, and available for private tours through the Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs. For more information, contact the Division at 201-336-7272.

 The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs is dedicated to supporting the arts, history, and historic preservation. The DCHA plays a leading role in building a flourishing cultural environment that benefits and distinguishes Bergen County as a New Jersey cultural destination, offering programs, services, and resources in all three areas.

Black History Month

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