- Visit to Belleville Reformed Church -
On Saturday March 3, 2007 after the First Mountain Chapter meeting at Pal's Cabin restaurant in West Orange, Chapter members Martin Scharloo and Eric Bal investigated the site of the Belleville Reformed Church, an important historic landmark of the American Revolution, where 66 patriots are interred, and captured the photographs shown here.
Given the significance of this site in our State's history, as well as our nation's, a grant to restore and maintain the Belleville Reformed Church, its cemetery and its patriots memorial may be obtainable. This historic property is registered in "National Register of Historic Places" and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, having Registry ID# 1061. Its inclusion in the Registry provides significant benefits for the property which may help achieve its rehabilitation. Also the New Jersey Historic Trust may help in that it is, among other things, "A technical and financial resource for the stewardship of historic properties".
The Church is an appropriate location for annual speeches and commemorations pertaining to our state and national heritage.
A First Mountain Chapter committee, headed by Chapter member William Volonte, is looking into this site and will be communicating with the owner, relevant agencies, and other interested organizations. Stay tuned and visit this site for updates and reports on this project. If you have any comments, information or ideas you may contact First Mountain Chapter by email or telephone.
Some internet research revealed Anthony Buccino's Old Belleville website where he has a webpage about the Third Annual Commemoration held on July 4, 2004 at the Belleville Reformed Church cemetary, and a webpage setting forth information, provided by the Belleville Historical Society, about each of the 66 Revolutionary War soldiers buried in the cemetery. Anthony's commemoration webpage lists a number of individuals and organizations that may share an interest in restoring and maintaining this historic site.
There is also a genealogy website maintained by the Essex County, NJ US GenWeb Coordinator, listing information about Essex Co. Church Archives which provides information about the records of the Belleville Reformed Church which was originally known as the "Second River Dutch Reformed Church". This website informs us that the Church records from 1727 to 1916 are in the possession of the D.A.R. It also informs us, thanks to information from genealogy researcher Diane Sivas, that portions of the Church's marriage and baptismal records are published in Volume XXII of "Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey", in William Nelson's compilation entitled "Marriage Records, 1665-1800", and in "The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey" - beginning with the October 1927 issue.