Cemetery Field Trip Will Teach Students About Stones

Butler middle school science classes to take trip to Manning Avenue Cemetery.

An agenda item for a middle school field trip to the Manning Avenue Cemetery left some Butler Public Schools Board of Education members scratching their heads Monday night.

But Superintendent Mario Cardinale said the students in the seventh and eighth grade science classes were planning on taking a trip to the cemetery to study geology.

"It's about the weathering of stone and other solid material," he explained.

Cardinale said the science teacher has indicated that gravestones provide a good sample for study for the students and will be incorporated into lessons of the classes. Since it was approved, the students will plan to take the trip to the cemetery on Oct. 25. 

Board Member Cindy Sokoloff noted that the cemetery also has historical appeal and that the students are sure to learn a great deal.

"The history of Butler is enshrined in that cemetery. I suspect there will be a lot to learn there," she said.

Tom Riley October 23, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Excellent Idea, how about it Bloomingdale? Add some history to the science, see if the kids can find the graves of Rev. War Vet. Casparus Westervelt and Civil War Vets. Levi Brown and Peter Cook. Take some rubbings from the stones and look up their records and the history of their regiments on the net when they get back to school. Great to see you taking advantage of those local resources, we have lots of them eg. Butler Museum ( when it reopens) Federal Hill, Norvin Green State Forest, Ringwood Manor, historical role Butler rubber production, early American Iron mining and production etc.
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan October 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM
That's a pretty cool idea, Tom, with the rubbings to later look up the names. Thanks for sharing!
Richard Dean October 23, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Before the Butler Museum closed for much needed foundation rehab, on the day of the annual Special Olympics Torch Run, the kids would first cheer the runners as they departed the Butler Police Department then split into groups one at a time visiting the museum and the Butler Cemetery. I was honored to be asked to help by being the "tourguide" at the cemetery for a few years. The kids were very interested in knowing about our past, observing headstones dating back to the early 19th century. BTW, when I was growing up it was always called Butler Cemetery however before the name Butler was adopted about 130 years ago the area was called West Bloomingdale and the cemetery was called Bloomingdale Cemetery as I understand. Some old timers say that when Richard Butler's hard rubber company grew and grew with him acquiring a lot of surrounding land that the cemetery came under his ownership so perhaps that is why it is called such. The last known to have his final resting place there was Mr Gordon Decker who bequeathed his property to the Board of Education. I understand that his plot was purchased by one of his family members directly from Richard Butler. I am personally proud to know that one set of my great-great-great-grandparents are in there to the left side of the entrance. Charles Holloway (born at Morristown 1801) and Elearnor Beam Lines (born in Pompton Township, possibly Wanaque, 1809).


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