This active graveyard dates to the earliest settlement period of Closter's history. Documented burials date to circa 1722 and include Dutch pioneer families with names like Vervalen, Naugle (Nagle), DeClark, Ferdon, Parsells, Auryansen, Demarest, Haring, Cole, Kearney, Montague and Bogert. Seven soldiers, Closter farmers, who served in the Bergen County Militia during the Revolutionary War and one veteran of the War of 1812 are known to be among the interred.
The Nauglel / Auryansen Cemetery, once known as the "Burying Place," was part of the original lands purchased in 1710 by the Nagel brothers, Barent and Resolvert. They divided their lands in 1748 and the division stones carved with their initials ("BN" and "RN") are still visible in the middle of the cemetery. Later, the place became known as the Auryansen Grave Yard because this family took title to the land upon which it sits. Many of the sandstone and frame houses built by these families and their descendants are still standing in the Borough today.
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A Restoration Project
of the Closter Historical SocietyThe Naugle / Auryansen Cemetery restoration was begun in 1996 and concentrated on the 19th century sandstone grave markers. Funding and work was sponsored by the Closter Historical Society with supervisory assistance provided by Tim Adriance, the Auryansen family historian.
Previous work at the cemetery involved ground maintenance and clearing of debris by various caretakers. Ralph Heaton of the American Legion obtained granite plaques from the Veterans Administration and placed them at the foot of the Revolutionary soldiers' graves.
In 1996, Scott Merritt, of Katonah, N.Y., masterfully began the inscription of the sandstone markers. This work could only have been made possible through the kindness and efforts of concerned citizens.List of Donors follow . . .