Civil War MonumentThe Civil War Soldiers Monument in this cemetery, located behind the church building complex, is one of New Jersey's earliest Civil War monuments. On June 3, 1865, Reverend Joseph Gaston Symmes of the First Presbyterian Church proposed the monument in memory of those soldiers from the Townships of Cranbury, Monroe and South Brunswick who sacrificed their lives to help preserve the Union. The Methodist and Second Presbyterian Churches of Cranbury also supported the project. Governor Marcus War dedicated the marble monument on August 1, 1866.
Seventy names of soldiers from several New Jersey regiments are carved on the monument, including soldiers from Company H of the NJ 14th Volunteer Infantry Regiment that was formed in Cranbury in August 1862. Company H was the unit in which the largest number of Cranburians served, and it had the larges casualty rate in its regiment. Other Cranbury soldiers enlisted in units such as Company B of the NJ 28th Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury *1738 A Presbyterian congregation was formed in Cranbury *1740 A Meeting House was built on the highest point of land in the oldest section of this cemetery. *1750 King George II granted the church a Royal Charter. *1759 One hundred fifty acres were purchased for the Parsonage Plantation. *1788 A new church was built on the site of the present church building. *1839 It was rebuilt, as pictured above, in Greek Revival style. *1859 An extensive rebuilding, referred to as "building a new church," enlarged the building from three to five windows on each side.
Brainerd CemeteryIn 1740, Cranbury resident James Rochead conveyed five acres of land to be used for a cemetery near the site of the Presbyterian Meeting House. The oldest section of the cemetery contains approximately 1,000 markers, most of which are the marble tablet style of the 18th century. About 125 brownstone markers from the 18th and early 19th century still exist.
In 1858, as the need for more cemetery space grew, the western section was laid out in a formal landscaped grid pattern. The cemetery was named for David Brainerd who preached to the local Lenape Indians during the summer of 1745.
Brainerd Cemetery contains, among its grave markers, the monuments and headstones of pastors of the church, early settlers, and those who served our country during and since the American Revolution.