The Harrison Township Historical Society’s Old Town Hall Museum reopens on Saturday, Oct. 12, with a new exhibition appropriate for the season. Dead and Buried: Secrets
of South Jersey’s Hidden Cemeteries explores some of the region’s little known and historic burial grounds through the photography of Lori M. Nichols. A staff photographer for the South Jersey Times and NJ.com, Nichols’ photos and research have brought to light stories of people that are gone, but no longer forgotten.
“Being able to uncover the stories of some of those who lived here has been very interesting, and at times, tragic,” said Nichols. “I believe it’s important to record the history of the everyday person, not just those who made a recognizable impact on history.”
Her research often involves detective work and perseverance and takes her to some remote places where once there may have been a church, village or a homestead that disappeared long ago.
“It’s been rewarding to locate some of the burial sites which are not easily found,” she added. “Some are located deep in the woods.”
The exhibition features sites in Atlantic, Cape May, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties and includes an interactive station where visitors can make rubbings of four gravestone symbols frequently seen in local cemeteries.
“Making rubbings in cemeteries is discouraged because it can damage the stones,” said the Society’s president, Bob Schumann. “With the help of the staff of the Maker Studio at Gloucester County Library System and the Innovation Studio at Rowan College of New Jersey we’ve created a fun and safe way to do this and take home a unique souvenir.”
The exhibition opening appropriately coincides with the Society’s annual Mullica Hill Ghost Walk, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are now available on-line at www.harrisonhistorical.com
The Society is also sponsoring two free exhibition events. On Sunday, Oct. 20, 2-4 pm, the public is invited to meet the artist at Old Town Hall. Lori Nichols will be discussing her work with visitors in the gallery. The following Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m., Dr. Richard Veit, Monmouth University, is presenting Stranger Stop and Cast an Eye: An Introduction to New Jersey’s Historic Burial Grounds. This illustrated lecture explores the state’s historic cemeteries from High Point to Cape May at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 51 North Main St. in Mullica Hill.
The exhibition is on view Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m., until Saturday, Dec. 14. Old Town Hall Museum is located at 62-64 S Main St. in the heart of Mullica Hill’s Historic District. Information can be found at www.harrisonhistorical.com and (856) 478 6673. Admission to the Museum is free.