Volunteers seek donations for historical cemetery upkeep

JERSEY CITY - Volunteers at the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery have uncovered war paraphenalia and passages they believe link the graveyard to the Underground Railroad, but they can barely pay for general upkeep of the historical cemetery.

The cemetery, whose oldest standing tombstone dates back to 1830, is staffed by a group of volunteers. Only three years ago, the cemetery was abandoned and neglected, with homeless people living in the gatekeeper house. As the staff began cleaning up the grounds, they found military artifacts and underground tunnels and crypts which they believe were used as part of the Underground Railroad.

PSE&G turned off the cemetery's power last week, as they don't have enough money to run the cemetery. Eileen Markenstein, who heads the group of volunteers, says she hopes they can secure corporate donations to help pay for upkeep.

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