Colestown Cemetery is located at the intersection of Church Road and Kings Highway in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Colestown Cemetery Company (856) 667-3533 100 Kings Hwy N, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Colestown was a small village founded in the late 1600s on the south branch of the Pennsauken Creek near the present-day intersection of King's Highway and Church Road. It was named after Samuel Coles, who purchased 1,000 acres there in 1685. The village, which contained two stores, a blacksmith shop, several dwellings, a church and a cemetery, grew with the popularity of the Fountain Hotels resort in the 1800s. Its main attraction was a mineral spring thought to have medicinal value. The owner reportedly had the water tested, and a record of the analysis was cut into a marble slab, set up beside the spring. A subsequent owner of the property dismantled the hotel, used the materials for a farmhouse and installed the marble slab as a doorstep.
The Colestown Cemetery, where the earlier burial was recorded in 1746, is the only remnant of this long-vanished hamlet. The familiar stone gatehouse, constucted in 1858, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. One side of the gatehouse was used as a chapel for funeral services, and the other side was the living quarters for the superintendent of the cemetery. Below the chapel is a vault once used as a winter holding room for bodies that could not be buried in the frozen ground.
St Mary's Church, one of the first Episcopal churches in West Jersey, stood inside the cemetery gates from 1751 to 1899, when it was destroyed by fire. Legend has it that Unami Indians were buried behind the Church. George Washington is said to have taken communion at the Church, and the brick path over which he might have walked is still visible.