I’m sure I’m one of a select few people who think of such things while on vacation. To make it easier on my wife and four-year-old daughter, I usually head out early before they wake up. So I planned a sunrise trip up the island and over to the mainland to hit the Staffordville Cemetery near Tuckerton (across the bay from LBI).
I’ve photographed a few cemeteries in this area but had never been to Staffordville Cemetery. Other than its simple existence on a map, I could find nothing about it on the Internet. So I made the trip on a Monday morning, shortly after sunrise. Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean can be breathtaking, but of course, I missed it. Got to the beach at 6 a.m. and sunrise must have been 5:30. So I jumped into my wife’s Toyota RAV4 and headed north up the island. Cops all over the place here trying to nab speeders and folks not wearing seatbelts, so I really had to crawl the five miles or so to the causeway to Manahawkin.
|Manahawkin, New Jersey coastline at dawn|
The graveyard was only about 150 feet deep and 200 feet wide, clean, no trash, no graffiti. Some old Christmas decorations here and there. Old grave markers from the mid-1800s to a few newish ones, including a Vietnam Vet who died in 2006. Some old sea shells adorned a few of the graves. Weird, yellowish-green plant life covered most of the sand.