Morris County Unveils Interactive Map Documenting Historic Cemeteries
Morristown, NJ – Just in time for the Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos), the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has launched an engaging ArcGIS StoryMap© detailing the rich history of Morris County's cemeteries. The map offers the community a unique opportunity to delve into the history and geography of the county's past residents.
Commissioner Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Office of Planning and Preservation, described the project as a tribute to the people who shaped the county: “Today it is fitting that we build on that legacy with a story map that recognizes the county’s early residents who paved the way for the county we reside in today. We invite you to explore our newest release complete with photos, background and geographic data to learn how residents of the past helped inform our present.”
Celebrated annually on November 1, Día de Los Muertos is a vibrant occasion marked by family gatherings, storytelling, and memorial offerings. The day serves as a remembrance for those who have passed away and highlights their contributions to the community. Within the map, various cemeteries also include obituaries that give valuable historical context and may aid in genealogical research.
The StoryMap draws on a cemetery survey published in 1976 as its foundational data, supplemented by recent fieldwork that has identified at least 14 previously omitted or newly established cemeteries. It also provides fascinating details on cemetery designers and stone masons who have left their mark in Morris County.
Among these influential individuals is Benjamin Hatheway, a supporter of the "Rural" cemetery movement, whose first commission was Dover's Orchard Street Cemetery. Another notable name is Auguste "Andrew" J. Rossi, a French-born civil engineer who designed several cemeteries including St. Cecilia’s in Rockaway and Holy Rood in Morristown. Also highlighted is Henry Hudson "H. H." Davis, a skilled stone carver responsible for Civil War monuments in Morristown and Boonton.
This new interactive tool not only serves as an educational resource but also as a respectful tribute to the county’s past, allowing residents to connect with their heritage and honor those who came before them.