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"Lifelong friends bring Black history to life in the Sourlands"

News12 New Jersey

Feb 21, 2022

Halfway up Sourland Mountain in Hopewell sits Stoutsburg Cemetery – officially founded as a burying ground for slaves, free Blacks and veterans in the 1850s when rules prohibited Blacks from being buried in white cemeteries.

As generations passed, the stories of those buried there slowly faded like the engravings on the stones themselves. Until Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills got to work. The lifelong friends, who trace their own ancestry back four and five generations in the Sourlands region, spent years digging through wills, deeds and court records to recover the area’s forgotten Black history.

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