Mercer Cemetery gears up for a reopening as a greenspace

Today Mayor Reed Gusciora and Northward Councilwoman Jennifer Williams celebrated the completion of a large-scale Eagle Scout project with a press conference that included members of the Girl Scouts, Parks and Recreation, Natural Resouces, and Culture Director/Health Director, Maria Richardson, and community members.

Grace Williams, 18, is an Eagle Scout from Trenton, New Jersey. She and more than 30 volunteers worked over the course of two months to renovate the nearly fifty-foot wide circle located at the crossroads of the Mercer Cemetery. The Eagle Scout project consisted of removing decades worth of built-up organic materials and installing 16 tons of stone dust. This project will serve as a jumpstart for the complete renovation and reopening of Mercer Cemetery as one of Trenton’s greenspaces. Grace is very grateful to Scouts BSA Troop 44, the City of Trenton, Langhorne Stone Company and the many volunteers, friends and family who helped make this Eagle Scout project happen. She is the first female scout from Trenton to earn an Eagle Scout award and the City of Trenton celebrated her achievement. Eagle Scouts are known for their camping skills and leaderships skills. The Boys Scouts of America inducted their first historic inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in 2021.

“When I first started to think about being an Eagle I knew that I wanted to do a project in Trenton. I was born and raised here and I knew that I wanted to help my community,” said Grace Williams, who is the daughter of Northward Councilwoman, Jennifer Williams and Pennington Asisstant Scout Master, Tammy Williams. “We managed to get this project done in just enough time for me to earn Eagle and I am so proud of myself, my troop, everyone who has helped to complete this amazing proect.”

Subscribe to the Trenton Journal newsletter and get our most current content delivered right to your inbox, for free!

Do you value quality local journalism?

Beginning the first Friday in September Mercer Cemetery will be open to public from 11 am to 2 pm to learn more about the historic the cemetary with live music and food trucks for an event billed as “Fridays at the Cemetery”. Located in downtown Trenton, Mercer Cemetery is significant for its connection with local history and its embodiment of 19th century urban cemetery ideals including highly decorative monuments and its use as a greenspace. It has a unique legacy as the first non-secular cemetery in New Jersey. Organized in 1843 from parcels of farmland on the edge of town, the Cemetery was popular for many of Trenton’s important families and business leaders until the end of the century. Over 4,000 people, including 160 veterans and countless prominent Trenton citizens, are buried here. The cemetery features a variety of high-style monuments and simple gravestones with motifs and sculptural forms prevalent in the Victorian era including weeping willows, flora, hands, urns, funerary cloth, and masonic symbols. They also showcase a wide diversity of headstone shapes and epitaphs, including several large and impressive monuments featuring the skilled work of both local and Philadelphia based carvers. 

“This is a historic cementary. We want to preserve it. We want to welcome people to come in here for serenity and just to look at a piece of history. This is why these projects are so important and restoring it to its historic grandeur. I am grateful to all the volunteers,” said Mayor Gusciora.


Sign up for the Trenton Journal email newsletter

Get our reporting delivered right to your inbox, for free!

Your support makes independent journalism possible!

Contributions from our readers is a big way that we fund our work — and it’s part of how we stay accountable to our communities.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top