Pennington African Cemetery receives 501(c)(3) status, continues preservation work

The Pennington African Cemetery Association (PACA) has made great progress during the past several years. We have a few key announcements for the public to explore and celebrate.

The Pennington African Cemetery Association 2022 Memorial Day Program – The Pennington African Cemetery Association held its annual Memorial Day Program in honor of the interred veterans who served our country. The service included poetry readings, songs and reflection.

The Pennington African Cemetery and Pennington Open Space – A Borough of Pennington Ordinance providing for the acquisition of 417B South Main Street for preservation as open space was granted in 2021. The Pennington Open Space Committee recommended the purchase of .57 acre of vacant land adjacent to The Pennington African Cemetery. The Open Space Committee advised that the property will provide an undeveloped buffer between the historic African Cemetery and the neighboring property to the west, which is an historic house known as the “Toll Gate House”. This acquisition is important for The Pennington African Cemetery for many reasons: it creates an historic block of continuous and historical areas; in addition the undeveloped land will pay appropriate respect to the final resting place of many Civil War veterans and American Black Military members. The property will also permit the pursuit of stewardship in partnership with The Pennington African Cemetery Association (PACA) to create educational opportunities to enrich the community.

A Pennington African Cemetery Interpretive Sign – The sign was funded in part by a grant to The Sourland Conservancy from The Church & Dwight Employee Giving Fund, and with support from The Hopewell Valley Historical Society. Ground penetrating radar, deployed in 2017, shows many more graves than existing gravestones. Most early grave markers were made of wood or other materials and have not survived into the 21st century. A list of documented internments is available on the website. The sign was installed inside the Cemetery gate on May 16, 2022. Members of the community are invited to walk back and learn more about this historic landmark.

PACA-Ed Receives 501(c)(3) Status We are thrilled to announce that PACA-Ed (The Pennington African Cemetery Association Educational Foundation) has officially received 501(c)(3) status. This important milestone enhances our fundraising efforts by providing tax benefits for individual and corporate donors. Generous donations of any amount will help us achieve important objectives. Please take a moment to visit our website to learn more about how community contributions can make a difference. Together through education we will honor our past, preserve our legacy and connect our community. 

Questions? Please email or call 609.915.0313. For more information, go to

Contributed by Pennington African Cemetery.

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