Smith-Condon Boxwood Hedge

THE SMITH-CONDON BOXWOOD HEDGE

Graveyard visitors during the past year have seen a beautifully landscaped L-shaped boxwood hedge separating the graveyard from the parking lot on the southeast section of the graveyard. More recently this hedge was significantly extended eastward to again provide an expanded separation of the parking area and the historic graveyard.

The Smith-Condon Boxwood Hedge

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So, how did this come to be. This beautiful boxwood hedge is the gift of Maggie Condon, a generous benefactor of our historic graveyard. Maggie’s parents, Eddie Condon and Phyllis Smith, were interred here a few years ago near where the original boxwood hedge segment was installed. Eddie Condon was a celebrated jazz musician in the mid 20th century. He played the guitar and owned a jazz club in Greenwich Village. His wife’s brother, Samuel Stelle Smith and wife Agnes Newhouse are buried next to them in the family grave plot.

The Smith name is also famous. Samuel Stelle Smith is the highly regarded Revolutionary War Historian with books published about the Battle of Monmouth and Trenton among others.

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Smith and Condon Gravemarkers

2018 Gravestone cleaning-rubbing

GRAVESTONE CLEANING AND RUBBING

On October 13th the second of three events that are part of October Graveyard Month was held. Lorraine Schnabel, the Graveyard Conservator, led the gravestone cleaning workshop and Kim Roberts-Honecker did the same for the gravestone rubbing. While rain early in the event held down attendance a total of 15 stones were cleaned and three had rubbings. Those participating were MiMi and Gordon Brown, Edgar John, Walter Dein, Jennifer Shamrock, Kristen Kormann, Reverend Lisa Mitchell, Jennifer Lovekin, Emily Blaser, and Bob Kelly. There were some learnings in the cleaning aspect as the red lichen was very resistant to removal. The rubbings went well despite the early rain. MiMi and Gordon were pleased to be able to clean the gravestone of their good friend Andree Lucantoni whose marker is in the Sycamore Garden.

On the before and after photos note the dramatic improvement with using just the brushes and water. Also on the Joseph Allen stone, how the inscription is so much easier to read with the lichen cleaned out.

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A repeat event will be held Saturday October 20th.

Gravestone Rubbing

 

Gravestone Cleaning

 

 

Graveyard Tour 2018

GRAVEYARD TOUR

OCTOBER 6, 2018

The first event in Christ Church’s “October is Graveyard Month” was held on Saturday October 6th. This event was a guided tour of the graveyard based on the recently created Graveyard Self-Guided Tour Brochure. The tour guide was Ryan Radice, a student at Monmouth University, and a co-creator of the brochure. Ryan is also a tour guide at Ellis Island. There were about 25 tourists and feedback was very positive. Ryan made stops at many of the gravestones identified in the brochure.

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2018 Independence Day Service

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2018 INDEPENDENCE DAY SERVICE

During our July 1st service we recognized our heritage through two related activities. One was the introduction of the new Graveyard Self-Guided Tour brochure to the congregants by Parish Historian Robert Kelly. Bob described the genesis of the booklet and surveyed its contents. This brochure is described in more detail elsewhere on the web site.

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In addition, one of the notable figures highlighted in the brochure was brought to life by Dead Actors’ Guild member, Cassie Reagan. Cassie told the story of the Finch family by portraying the Finch daughter, Mary.

July 4 2018

ML+ AND STUART BUNCHER AT ALLEN HOUSE

JULY 4th 2018 CELEBRATION

Christ Church partnered with the Allen House and the Shrewsbury Historical Society in commemorating Independence Day. Mother Lisa provided the Invocation at the Allen House prior to the community reading of the Declaration of Independence. Afterwards Judi and Stuart Bucher in Revolutionary era costumes led visitors across the street to Christ Church. Here we had the church open for visitors as well as conducting a graveyard tour. This latter was a guided tour but based upon the recently created Graveyard Self-Guided Tour. The tour guide was Ryan Radice, who was one of the five Monmouth University History students who fashioned the brochure. In addition, Stuart Buncher demonstrated a genuine Battle of Monmouth musket that is in the collection of the Shrewsbury Historical Society. He told the story of the Revolutionary soldier who carried the weapon as well as describing its parts and operation. Photos were taken by Jeff Veil and Kristen Kormann.

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 JUDI AND STUART STUART DEMONSTRATING THE REV WAR MUSKET

Here is Stuart Buncher’s tale of the Revolutionary War musket:

A Rare Piece of Local History Hiding In Plain Sight!

The other day, Bob Kelly told me of an old rifle at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum, curated by Don Burden, who is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury.  Being a student of history and a gun nut, my curiosity got the better of me.  Bob gave me Don’s phone number and I called to set up an appointment.

I had to climb a step stool to take what turned out to be an old musket down from the museum wall.  Upon cursory investigation, the long arm looked like a long barrel fowling piece, which is a shotgun used in hunting geese and ducks.  The weapon was a black powder, muzzle loading flintlock of British origin.

The most amazing part was the paperwork that came with the gun, which provided the authenticity of what we were looking at.  It seems that musket belonged to one Michael Fields, born in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in August of 1758.  He was killed in June, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth.  This was his personal weapon which he used to fight the British.

He now resides in a grave at Joshua Huddy Memorial Park in Colts Neck.

This was not a military weapon as it didn’t have a provision for a shoulder strap or bayonet.

I cleaned and polished the stock with Old English furniture polish.  The barrel and lock plate were blued almost black while military weapons were polished metal.  I tried to bring up the brass furniture with metal polish.  The gun was shown at the 4th of July event on the steps of Christ Church, where it attracted much awe as it was passed round from person to person.

The musket is now safely back at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum where a permanent display case is being made for it.  Stuart Buncher

Cub Scout Visit 2018

ML+ TELLS THE HISTORY

CUB SCOUT TROOP VISITS CHRIST CHURCH

In May Den 8, out of Pack 124, visited the church. There were 7 Scouts, 2 siblings, 5 parents and Den Leader, Heather Thomas in attendance. Reverend Mitchell gave the tour of both the church and the graveyard. The Scouts were also treated to a portrayal of Benjamin Lippincott who is interred in the graveyard, Lippincott, who was a California Pioneer in the 19th century was portrayed by Bob Honecker. They were  very intrigued by Benjamin Lippincott as a cowboy – at the end one asked “for real – are you risen from the dead or someone else just pretending?”

The Scouts really enjoyed the tour — and especially thought the Vinegar Bible was “very old and very cool – especially since it was 1 of 40!”

SCOUTS EXAMINE THE VINEGAR BIBLE  BENJAMIN LIPPINCOTT CLOSE UP  IN THE GRAVEYARD 2  ML+ IN NARTHEX

 

Memorial Day 2018

THE READING OF THE NAMES: 2018

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 The parish held its annual Churchyard Memorial Service, including the Reading of the Names. The names of all veterans interred in the graveyard were read on Sunday, May 21st after the 10 a.m. service.  These veterans span the eras from the French and Indian War to Vietnam. Due to inclement weather, for the first time in memory the event was held inside the church instead of in the graveyard.

The veterans’ names were read by Judi and Stuart Buncher in costumes made by Judi.

Stuart Buncher portrayed Marine Corporal Andrew Tomlin.  Corporal Tomlin was one of two NJ Marines to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He was awarded the medal for heroism in the Second Battle of Ft Fisher, January 15th, 1865. Judi Buncher portrayed a woman of the Civil War Era attired in formal period dress.

Easter 2018

Christ Church Celebrates Easter

The parish celebrated Easter with a Sunrise service at 6 am and a traditional service at 10 am. The 10 am service was the Eucharistic service with full choir accompanied by organ and trumpet. The music included several anthems by Handel including the joyful Hallelujah chorus. Children decorated the Easter cross during the service and the Easter egg hunt in the churchyard afterwards. The children who found the two Alleluia eggs received a Lamb Cake.