RIVERVIEW CEMETERY : Historian's Blog

Riverview Cemetery : 1933 Site Map
Today marks a milestone of sorts, the launching of a historian's blog for Riverview Cemetery. As one walks the grounds, it becomes readily apparent that they are steeped in history—along the tree-lined avenues are memorialized many notables, including Charles Conrad Abbott, archaeologist and naturalist; George Antheil, the "Bad Boy" composer; Isaac Broome, sculptor; Walter Scott Lenox, founder of the world-renowned Lenox, Inc.; George Brinton McClellan, major general of the Grand Army of the Potomac and governor of New Jersey; John Augustus Roebling, civil engineer and pioneer of wire suspension bridges, best known for his design of the Brooklyn Bridge; Washington Augustus Roebling 2nd., who perished and was lost at sea in the foundering of R.M.S. Titanic; Harold N. "Bus" Saidt, Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter; Stanley Switlik, founder of Switlik Parachute Company and inductee into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey; and John Taylor, founder of the Taylor Provision Company, makers of the world-famous Taylor Pork Roll—and to that end I envision this blog to include notes about interesting items from the cemetery's historical collection and from my own collection of cemetery-related ephemera, as well as periodic reports of ongoing research.

So let's begin with the cemetery's site map:

Wendell Arthur Johnson, a young civil engineer, was engaged to draw the cemetery's site map in 1933. Representing one of his first projects, one can appreciate the tedious work of drawing thousands of lots by hand in an era before computer-aided design. The plan has changed over the years, of course, with the expansion of several sections, the addition of a few more, and minor improvements to the orientation of some lots here and there, but this map remains the means with which lots are today located.

Johnson was born in Patchogue, Long Island, N.Y., on May 25, 1909. After a preparatory education at Pennington School for Boys (later became the co-educational Pennington School) he attended Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (today's Drexel University) from which he received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. The early years of his career were spent in Hopewell, N.J., later moving to South Jersey where he worked on PATCO's high speed line and SEPTA's airport rail line. He died in Camden on July 30, 1985, and was interred in the churchyard of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Cinnaminson, N.J.

I do hope you will enjoy reading this historian's blog.

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