Evans/Ellis Cemetery – New Brunswick, New Jersey - Atlas Obscura

Evans/Ellis Cemetery

Seven people are buried in the middle of what's now a movie theater parking lot. 


You wouldn’t expect to find a miniature graveyard plopped atop a small strip of grass within a sea of asphalt. But in the parking lot of the AMC Lowes New Brunswick Theater (soon to be renamed Sony), that’s exactly what you’ll see.

From the 17th century until the mid-20th century, New Jersey was a rural area with family farms that could trace their roots back to the first settlements. But from the 1960s, New Jersey rapidly grew and the new replaced the old. Farms were mowed down for housing, businesses, and city buildings. But amid this rapid development, many small family cemeteries were spared.

This means you can find tiny burial plots in the most unusual places. In the back of Piscataway High School sits the old Fitz-Randolph family cemetery. Across the street, where Fitz-Randolph Road dead ends by a business park, is the Ruyon resting place. In the middle of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Homedale you’ll find the the Crawford family plot. And of course, there’s the Evans/Ellis cemetery in a theater parking lot.

The small Evans/Ellis plot sits upon a platform about seven or eight feet above the surrounding lot. In this peculiar little graveyard, seven people lie beneath two gravestones (though now one stone appears to be missing). One of the people buried here is Margaret Ellis, the wife of famed Revolutionary War general Anthony Walton White. However, General White isn’t buried here. Instead, he’s buried in a more dignified location about two miles away in Downtown New Brunswick behind the Christ Church at 5 Peterson Street.

Know Before You Go

The Ellis/White cemetery is located on private property, but it's the parking lot of the theater, so you really don't need permission first. Few cars park here, and the site is easy to locate in the middle of the lot. There are no stairs to the graves themselves, and at eight feet off the ground, they're not visible from the ground. However, it isn't too difficult to climb the structure and peek at the stones, but be careful.

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