Borough of Closter, NJ

Historic Preservation Comission

The Naugle/Auryansen Cemetery

The Naugle/Auryansen Cemetery is significant in the early settlement period of Closter's history. Documented burials date to circa 1722 and include Dutch pioneer families with names like Vervalen, Naugle (Nagle), DeClark, Ferdon, Parsells, Auryansen, Demarest, Haring, Cole, Kearney, Montague and Bogert. Seven Soldiers, Closter farmers, who served in the Bergen County Militia during the Revolutionary war and one veteran from the War of 1812 are known to be among the interred.

The cemetery once known only as the "Burying Place," was part of the original lands purchased in 1710 by the Naugle brothers, Barent and Resolvent. They divided their lands in 1748 and the division stones carved with their initials ("BN" and "RN") are still visible in the middle of the cemetery. Later, the place became known as the Auryansen Grave Yard because this family took title to the land upon which it sits. Many of the sandstone and frame houses built by these families and their descendants are still standing in the Borough today.

In 1996, the Closter Historical Society undertook a three year project to restore the 19th century sandstone gravemarkers. At that time a complete survey was done of the tombstones in the Cemetery and Tim Adriance is in the process of preparing this information for publication. In 1961 Ralph Heaton of the American Legion obtained official granite plaques from the Veterans Administration and placed them at the foot of five Revolutionary soldiers' graves.

Various caretakers have helped maintain and clean the cemetery through the years. Presently, Tim Adriance, the Auryansen family historian is the caretaker. This is still an active cemetery. From: 1999 "Revisions and Update" of the Historic Sites Survey, by Pat Morillo for the Closter Historic Preservation Commission - attached to the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey: Borough of Closter dated 1981-1982.

Recent work on the cemetery grounds has been overseen by the Closter Historic Preservation Commission and undertaken by the Closter DPW, as well as local Eagle Scouts. The cemetery now has an attractive rustic wooden fence and gate at the Susan Drive entrance, a newly refurbished flagpole with an historic American flag, new fencing along the perimeter, and other improvements to the Susan Drive entrance.

In 2010, the Bergen County Historical Society erected an historic blue marker describing the site. This marker is located at the Susan Drive entrance.

The Cemetery is open to the public through the new gate at the entrance on Susan Drive, between house numbers 42 and 50 Susan Drive, off Ruckman Road. This gate is unlocked, though the gate off the Hickory Lane entrance remains padlocked to prevent damage from off-road vehicles passing through the cemetery.