Museum Presents “Ghosts Of The Past” Cemetery Tour

Merchants and Drovers Tavern (file photo from 2011) (Photo credit: KForce via Wikimedia Commons)

Merchants and Drovers Tavern (file photo from 2011) (Photo credit: KForce via Wikimedia Commons)

RAHWAY—The Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum Association (MDTMA) has announced that their annual “Ghosts of the Past” Rahway Cemetery Tour this year will celebrate the rich history of Rahway through the stories of the city’s past residents.

The tours will take place over two days, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7 from 1-4 p.m. in Rahway Cemetery, St. Georges Avenue, Rahway. This event will take visitors through the circa 1724 cemetery to meet the “ghosts” of long-ago residents and learn about the history of this city from the stories of the people who lived it.

The tour will visit the graves of over 13 past citizens and, through interpreters in period dress, they will hear the stories that helped shaped local, state and national history. Museum Director Alex Shipley, Rahway’s city historian, noted that this cemetery, located next to the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, holds the remains of 300 years of Rahway citizens.

Shipley explained, “Walking through this cemetery is a lesson in regional as well as national history. You will find some very prominent, famous, interesting and even mysterious people buried there. It was hard to choose who among them who we would portray. This year we’re including some tour favorites such as Abraham Clark, the signer of the Declaration, Ambo, a 19th century slave woman, Carolyn Wells, who wrote and published 170 books and Alfred Jewell, a Rahway Police Officer who in the 1880s was the first policeman in Union County to be killed in the line of duty.

“We are also adding some new ones, such as a Civil War soldier of the U.S. Colored Troops recently honored by the American Legion. Of course, we’ll be including the cemetery’s most famous resident, the Unknown Woman, who was murdered here in Rahway in 1887. As everyone knows, she was never identified, nor her killer every found.” Alex recently wrote and published a book documenting this famous cold case, which is on sale at the museum.

Tours begin at 1 p.m. and leaving every 15 minutes on both days, with the last tour leaving at 4 p.m. All tours begin at the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum located on the corner of St. Georges and Westfield Avenues in Rahway, next door to the Rahway Cemetery. Tickets can be purchased at the museum both days at $10 for adults, $8 for members and seniors, $5 for students and children under 12, and free to children under 5. The cost also includes refreshments and access to all the museum exhibits.

All proceeds benefit the continued restoration of the Museum buildings and grounds. The museum gift shop will be open and free parking is located at Parkside Plaza on St. Georges Avenue one block south of the museum. To learn more, visit or call 1-732-381-0441.


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