The Pen-and-Ink Drawings of George A. Bradshaw

A view of Riverview Cemetery
by George A. Bradshaw,

George A. Bradshaw (1880-1968), a Trenton native, was a noted etcher whose work focused on historic sites in Trenton and elsewhere in New Jersey, and city, land and seascapes in the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritimes. He began his studies at Trenton's School of Industrial Arts in 1915 and quickly mastered the art of drawing and etching. After graduating in 1921 he became an instructor there until his retirement in 1945.

He was a member of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and its successor, the Society of American Graphic Artists, as well as the Chicago Society of Etchers, the North Shore Artists Association, and the Salmagundi Club.

Bradshaw provided the illustrations for, among others, A History of Trenton, 1629-1929, Two Hundred and Fifty Years of a Notable Town with Links in Four Centuries, a two-volume work published under the auspices of the Trenton Historical Society. The preface noted that in Bradshaw "Trenton possesses an artist whose pen-drawings and etchings have served to make his work favorably known beyond the confines of this locality."

He received many awards for his works which were widely exhibited across the nation, and was also recognized in "Fine Prints of the Year, 1929" for an interior of the chapel at Princeton University, and again in "Fine Prints of the Year, 1935" for an arch of the library of Princeton University.

Ginkgo biloba, or the Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo biloba, a colored plate by
Philipp Franz von Siebold and
Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini, published
 in Flora Japonica in 1870
Highly regarded for its unusual foliage and brilliant fall color, the Ginkgo biloba, or the Maidenhair Tree, has been aptly described as an "ancient wonder." They disappeared from fossil records some two-and-one-half million years ago in Europe and seven million years ago in America, and were long thought to be extinct in the wild until two small populations were recently located in southwestern China. They were cultivated in China's temple gardens by monks for thousands of years, however, and were eventually brought to Japan about 800 years ago.

Engelbert Kaempfer, a German physician and botanist in the employ of the Dutch East India Company as a ship's surgeon, first observed the Ginkgo in Japan in 1690. His findings were published in Amoenitatum Exoticarum in 1712 and they provided the first extensive description of Japanese flora.

The tree was introduced to Europe at the Botanic Garden in Utrecht, Netherlands, in 1730, and the Kew Gardens in London in 1754, and later to America by William Hamilton who planted several specimens on the grounds of his country estate "The Woodlands" in Philadelphia in 1784. They were first offered for sale by American nurserymen David and Cuthbert Landreth in their 1811 catalogue as Salisburia adiantifolia, or Japanese Maidenhair Tree.

October 29, 2012: Hurricane Sandy

Trees felled by Hurricane Sandy
at Riverview Cemetery

One year ago today, October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy passed by Trenton, felling many trees and toppling or damaging numerous monuments here at Riverview Cemetery.

The storm made its trek up the Eastern Seaboard, making landfall south of Atlantic City and devastating the Jersey Shore. The effects of the storm were felt 500 miles from the storm's center, with Trenton reporting a record-setting barometric pressure low of 958 mb, and the accompanying heavy rains and strong winds easily felled trees that were still in full leaf.

Friends’ Plot and the Oldest Extant Gravemarkers

Three ledgers: an unknown burial,
John Bainbridge (1657-1732) and
Sarah Bainbridge (1660-1731)

Riverview Cemetery incorporates the Friends' burying ground that was established by the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting in 1685. While the earliest gravemarkers, if any, have long since disappeared, the oldest extant markers are for John Bainbridge and his wife Sarah.

John Bainbridge, born November 2, 1657, in Yorkshire, England, and Sarah Clows, born August 27, 1660, in Cheshire, England, were married at Middletown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1685. When he died on February 14, 1732, his will directed that a marker be erected over his grave "and on it be put the day and year of my death and my age", and another over that of his wife who died the previous year on March 25, 1731.

The Panoramic Maps of Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler

Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler
Recognized as one of the nation's most prolific panoramic mapmakers of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on December 21, 1842. When the first call for military volunteers went out at the onset of the Civil War, Fowler, then in Buffalo, was turned down because he was underage. He subsequently enlisted in the 21st Regiment of the New York Infantry at Elmira, New York, in 1861.

Wounded in the ankle the following year at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia, Fowler refused the amputation of his foot and was honorably discharged in Boston in 1863. He made a living traveling to army camps making tintype photographs of soldiers, but later moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked for his uncle, J.M. Fowler, a photographer, and it was here that he produced his first panoramic map—a view of the town of Omro. This was followed by several more for other Wisconsin towns.


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.