|SADDLEBROOK: Bergen County|
Midland Cong. Bnai Yeshurin Cemetery: 125 acres; It is on the western side of the street about .5 mile south of Broadway and north of the Garden State Parkway. Owned and Managed by the Jewish Federation of North Jersey Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 436, Totowa, NJ 07511 (973) 492-2969
Directions: Take Hudson River trolley from Fort Lee Ferry.
Americus: Midland Ave.
Congregation Bnai Yeshurin: Midland Avenue
Dunde Lake Cem.
Passaic Junction: Dewey St
Riverside Cemetery: (see Riverside in Rochelle Park)
Temple Emanuel of Paterson, North Jersey
Workmen's Benev. Association Circle
Yavneh Academy Cemetery: Cong. B'Nai Israel Ahavath Joseph, Post Office Box 189, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
"In March 1906, the Lakewood Cemetery Association was created. Comprised of 125 acres (20 of which were later sold), the cost be nearly $27,000,000 in today's dollars.
The cemetery was planned in the style of Frederick Law Olmsted's New York Central Park, with curving roads, and winding paths. This was no simple task, as the property had to first be transformed with trainloads of soil, a barn for the horses and hay, and greenhouses constructed. Gravel roadbeds were set out, and later paved, and the manor house was converted into an office structure, with a steel I-beam inserted to support the lobby ceiling.
In 1910, the first burial took place about 100 yards behind the office. Records show the first copy of rules and regulations for the cemetery dating 1914. Here it clearly states "Burial of persons not of the Jewish faith is strictly prohibited."
By the 1930's, nearly two thirds of the 110,000 gravesites were already sold.
One winter night in 1950, perhaps after a heavy snowfall, someone decided to start a fire in one of the office's four working fireplaces. A chimney fire ensued and before the flames were extinguished, the second floor of the building was gone. In the aftermath, a concrete vault was installed, the roof was raised, dormers added as was a bell tower. Last but not least, the town installed a hydrant close to the building (the lack of which was the cause of the excessive damage).
In the late-1940s to mid-1950s, Riverside was serving nearly more than 1000 burials each year and one note suggested an estimated 250,000 people visited in one year. The cemetery was under the second generation of management, and much was done to beautify the grounds near the office, especially planting nearly 70,000 (!) tulip bulbs each summer. Ironically, and despite all this beautification, some gravesites which had been neglected years before were already looking overgrown - as families started leaving the metropolitan area. In some cases, no one was left to provide for the upkeep in the gravesites.
In the 1960s, as the 3rd and 4th generations began to use the cemetery, visitation slowed, as did the number of burials per year. By the 1970s, much of the cemetery had a dense growth of shrubs, and the tradition of planting tulips around the office drive had ended.
Even so, on some Sundays, as many as 5000 cars were counted coming to the cemetery, and public buses brought visitors directly to the main building. Riverside had become a suburban park for many urban families, and a trip to visit gravesites very often was accompanied by a picnic on the grounds.
The 1980s brought change to the cemetery as the 3rd generation of management took control. Office procedures that had been stranded in the 1950s were replaced by early personal computers for letter writing and record keeping. Standards for each aspect of cemetery maintenance were established, and the field crews were professionally trained in each task, transforming Riverside into one of the best manicured Jewish cemeteries around. As overgrown shrubbery and plantings were removed, the extent of the work to be remediated became clearer. A program of repair and restoration of walkways and roads, tree trimming and monument leveling was put in place, which is still in practice today.
The last decade has been one of continuous improvements. From an integrated computer business system, digital photography, to improved procedures for providing modern tools to the field staff. Our crews, who had been using a dilapidated wood section of the greenhouse as a meeting room, were provided with a modern break room, complete with kitchen and locker facilities." [March 2011]
|Last Updated on Friday, 18 March 2011 17:55|