The Ocean County Compendium of  History
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An Historical and Archaeological Record of Dover Chapel Cemetery

in Bayville, New Jersey

by Steven J. Baeli

December 13, 2006

“The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daises.  It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place” [1]

 – Percy Bysshe Shelley –


             The following research paper is a report on the Dover Chapel Cemetery that will review its history, the archaeological methods used to help determine the general location of a chapel that once stood in the burial ground, and attempt to solve the question of ownership.  Exactly who legally owns the burial ground has been a matter of some controversy as members of the Trinity Methodist Church Board of Trustees have held the position for many years that the church does not own the cemetery located next to their property.[2]  Berkeley Township has held the position that the graveyard does indeed belong to the church,[3] but despite that claim, it assumed responsibility for the burial ground’s general lawn maintenance in the 1970s and continues to tend to the property today.  Determining ownership for this project was important in order to obtain permission to do an extensive archaeological survey of the property in the future with an eye toward formulating a plan for restoration.  Because ownership was ambiguous, it was decided to dig only one shovel test pit (STP) in the center of where the chapel area was believed to have been.  That STP was to be limited to a depth of two feet and would end immediately should human remains surface.  The minor excavation was performed under a tent that obscured the digging process in consideration of the many people expected to pass by in their vehicles over the course of the day.  A casual onlooker not familiar with the project may have taken exception to someone digging in a churchyard and that made it necessary to include such feelings in the planning of the project.

Dover Chapel Cemetery is located on Route 9 (also known as Atlantic City Boulevard), in the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, Ocean County, New Jersey.  Currently, the area of the cemetery is a 120’x200’ rectangle that sits a bit higher in elevation than the land that surrounds it.  It is bordered on the north by Butler Avenue, on the south by the Trinity Methodist Church property, to the east by the highway and to the west by Bayview Cemetery.  A majority of its gravemarkers are still standing, although many are in poor shape.  For the most part, white marble was the material of choice and it was those stones that exhibited the most damage.  There were also obelisks and other large markers made of granite so pristine it looked as if a stonecutter had just placed them there.  On the cemetery grounds in roughly the center of its expanse once stood a Free Church, originally called the Bethel Church,[4] but traditionally referred to as Dover Chapel.  The chapel was used as a meeting place for any group of people wishing to hear a sermon from any preacher willing to take the pulpit on any given Sunday morning.  As the rise of Methodism began to take hold of Early America, the idea of a Free Church began to fall by the wayside and by 1855 the building had been taken over exclusively by members of the Trinity Methodist Church.  There are approximately 262 known burials that surround the former chapel area and on most the 235 gravemarkers that still stand, one can read the surnames of the original families who made their home in Potter’s Creek.  Akins, Anderson, Britton, Butler, Chamberlain, Cornelius, Evernham, Giberson, Grant, Jeffrey, Lewis, Phillips, Platt, Potter, Rogers, Stout, Tilton and Worth are among the most prevalent and recognizable names, although most everyone interred in the cemetery likely played some small part in the making of America in its most formative years.

The cemetery is currently in danger of losing many of its gravemarkers to the destructive forces of pollution and the natural progression of time.  Some harm has also been inflicted by rocks and other objects thrown from passing lawnmowers by people unaware of the injuries they were causing to the historic steles.  Vandalism has not been an issue largely due to the burial ground’s very public location.  The most recent damage can be seen in the area of a grave that was once marked only by four cedar posts jutting out about five inches from the ground.  Sadly, since 2001, two of the posts have either been removed or have otherwise been destroyed.  In a more cognizant act, a majority of the burial ground’s footstones were removed and found to be wantonly piled in the woods along Bayview cemetery.  Exactly when the markers were uprooted was not clear, although it was most probably done during either a Boy Scout “renovation project”[5] or by an Ocean County Jail inmate clean-up crew told to remove the stones for easier lawn maintenance access.  Some of the footstones not found in the stack had been used to help prop up an aging shed and others were simply strewn about the area with a total disregard to their importance.  The majority of the footstones were inscribed with initials, although eighteen of the thirty-six bore letter markings that did not correlate with any of the known burials at Dover Chapel.[6]

The removal of the footstones is a sad testament to idea that just anyone, good intentioned or not, can assume the responsibility of a clean-up or an historic restoration without a full understanding of the process, and while it is commendable that a group such as the Boy Scouts wanted to do something nice for the community, such projects should be planned and supervised by knowledgeable people.  The Boy Scouts probably did little more than clean up the cemetery, however, which meant that they did not damage the grounds in any way.  It is more likely that the removal of the footstones was done by the inmate crew under the direction of someone from the township or county government, although when officials were questioned on the subject, no one seemed to recall the incident.[7]

Attempting to develop an historical record of the Dover Chapel Cemetery proved to be less challenging than initially thought in terms of available documentation.  It was fortunate that the burial ground held, not only a significance to the history of Berkeley Township, but also an importance to some of the citizens of Bayville who took care over the years to preserve many of the documents used for this project.  That wealth of information was integral to the research and it is here that local historian and former president of the Berkeley Township Historical Society, Jerry Beer, must be thanked for his insight and for pointing me toward many of the deeds and maps needed to help solve the mystery of Dover Chapel.

An Historical Background

            Dover Chapel burial ground is the final resting place of many of the people who founded the village of Potter’s Creek, known today as Bayville.[8]  The town was situated along the Barnegat Bay and the land itself was once home to Native Americans as far back as prehistoric times, as evidenced by the many Indian sites scattered throughout the municipality.[9]  The Age of Exploration brought to Monmouth County (later Ocean County),[10] a handful of Europeans willing to brave the unknown and make a home in the dense woods that skirted the pristine New Jersey shoreline.  By the late 1600s, approximately 1200 colonists had settled the southern portion of the county,[11] although how many of them were located in Berkeley Township,[12] is unknown.  One of the earliest settlers to the area was Ephraim Potter (16??-1717), father of famed Universalist, Thomas Potter (1689-1777), who relocated from Long Branch, New Jersey in 1702 and removed to the Cedar Creek area of what is now southern Berkeley Township.[13]  It was from Ephraim that it is supposed the name, “Potter’s Creek” was derived and from him that the Potter line grew. 

The earliest interment of any Potter family member in the Bayville cemetery was the infant daughter of Job and Lydia Potter in 1867.  Where, then, were the rest of the original settlers of Potter’s Creek buried if not at Dover Chapel?  Some of the family, including Thomas Potter, was interred at Good Luck Cemetery in Lacey Township, just south of Cedar Creek where many Potters resided.  It is likely that Ephraim was buried at Good Luck, but what of the others, such as the Chamberlain, Worth, Platt, Grant, Jeffrey and Rogers families who settled a little farther north?  As for the Jeffrey and Rogers families, there are two separate family burial grounds located within a mile of Dover Chapel that date back to Colonial times.  Where the rest of the early Colonists were laid to rest is unknown with the exception of William Chamberlain, who died at the age of thirty-six in 1759 and was buried on his farm about one-quarter of a mile east of Dover Chapel.[14]  Also known to be interred at what is now called the Chamberlain Burial Ground, was William’s wife, Catharine Longstreet, and her second husband, Elias Anderson.  That cemetery is currently unmarked and it is suspected to be the final resting place of other settlers of Potter’s Creek, although there is little evidence to support that theory without an archaeological survey of the site.[15] 

A Question of Ownership

            As was previously mentioned, ownership of the Dover Chapel Cemetery has been a topic of debate for some time, so it made sense to first attempt to unravel that enigma before trying to locate the Dover Chapel building.  Doing so meant looking to the deed history of the property, which was at times ambiguous, but ultimately helpful to the case.  It was not necessary to go back much before 1800, however, because the turn of events took place shortly thereafter. 

At some point in the late 1700s, landowners in Potter’s Creek began to subdivide their farms into smaller tracts and sell them off in pieces.  This was important to Dover Chapel because it was through a series of land transfers that the burial ground was formed.  On May 25, 1824, John Jeffrey sold fifty acres of land to James K. Britton (1770–1850).[16]  In what appeared to be the next step in a plan to build the first church in Potter’s Creek, Britton subdivided his fifty acre tract just two months later on July 25th and sold that 150’x150’ parcel to the Trustees of Bethel Church for $3.00.[17]  The Trustees of the Bethel Church were listed in the deed as David R. Anderson (1804–1848), Jonathan Lewis (1811–1834), James D. Rogers (18??–18??), and Jeffrey Rogers (18??–18??).  The deed also called for the building of a Free Church with a specific constrict that demanded it allow any and all denominations to gather and worship in the church.  There was also to be no limitation on the gender of the preachers that ministered in the chapel.  Such constricts were not indicative for the time, although not surprising since the concept of the Unitarian faith in America was formed just four miles south in Good Luck[18] and the residue of that conviction may have found its way to Potter’s Creek.

On July 31, 1826, Britton sold his fifty acres of land to Elias L. Anderson (1767–1841) for $450.00,[19] but neglected to include in the deed the parcel that was sold to the Bethel Church just two years before.  The reason for that omission is unknown, but it may have had something to do with the chapel not being built until 1829[20] and perhaps Britton felt that the land was not being used as per the tenets of the deed.  Even though there was a deed issued to the Trustees of the Bethel Church, there also might have been an unwritten agreement between the parties that demanded that the land revert back to Britton for lack of compliance.  With no way to prove such an agreement, we might assume that Elias Anderson considered the church subdivision to be valid. 

There were interments prior to the Britton/Anderson land transfer, however, with the oldest burial occurring in 1821 with the death of Benjamin Stout (1745-1821), and his wife, Mary (1746-1824) who was interred three months prior to the Britton/Bethel agreement.  Joseph S. Akins (1800-1828), was laid to rest four years later six or so plots to the north of the Stouts.  The burials of Benjamin and Mary Stout prior to the sale of the subdivision may be an indication as to why that particular location was chosen to erect the chapel.  The interment of Joseph Akins and the building of the chapel after the Britton/Anderson land transfer might also prove as evidence that Elias Anderson had honored the Bethel Church deed.

Up to the establishment of the Dover Chapel Cemetery, the people of the era generally buried their dead in family plots on their farms as exampled by the aforementioned Jeffrey and Rogers family burial grounds.[21]  By the early 1800s the residents of Potter’s Creek likely wanted to formally establish a church and a community burial ground.  The Chamberlain Burial Ground might have been a logical choice for the church, but those interments were placed squarely in the middle of the late William Chamberlain’s farm and Elias L. Anderson, who gained control of the property after marrying Chamberlain’s wife, may not have wanted to expand the burial ground, which would have, in effect, established the center of town on his property.  Doing so would have also eventually pushed him off his land and so it would have made sense to allow the Bethel Church to be built on the property located on the main road where the Stouts were already laid to rest. 

Prayer sessions at the Bethel Church seemed to have continued on without much concern until January 19, 1855, when a Certificate of Incorporation of Ocean County was issued to the “Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek.”[22]  During that twenty-six year period between the building of the chapel and the Trinity incorporation, it might be assumed that many members of the community had begun to gravitate towards Methodism as their religion of choice, but were not monetarily able to build their own house of worship.  By 1855, however, any plans they might have had to procure land for a chapel moved forward when Abigail W. Rogers Anderson (1804–1869), widow of Elias L. Anderson, issued a deed for the sum of $20.00[23] to the newly incorporated Protestant church.”[24]  The deed in question specifically referred to the building located on the property as “Dover Chapel,” which confirmed the use of it by the Methodists, but just as important, the document specifically named the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church as having purchased the very property that is in question today. 

The sale of that property appeared to have established a legal transfer of the land and its ownership to the Trinity Methodist Church despite the omission of the 1826 land transfer between James Britton and Elias L. Anderson.  A question of validity came into play here, however, since Mrs. Anderson may have had no legal claim to the Dover Chapel property and, if so, had no right to sell it.  If that was the case, then the land still belonged to the Trustees of the Bethel Church, assuming that that organization was still in existence in 1855.  To help unravel the legal issues, Thomas J. Barton, president of the Land Title Services Agency, LLC, was consulted.[25]  He first examined the four documents in question (Jeffrey/Britton, Britton/Bethel, Britton/Anderson and Anderson/Trinity), to establish whether the deeds were written as “full warranty,”[26] which basically meant that the seller of the property was guarantying that the land was free and clear of any issue such as liens and other claims.  Of the four deeds, all of them appeared to have been issued as “full warranty,” meaning that all the parities believed the land to be legally unencumbered, although that was not necessarily the case.

The main concern, of course, was finding out if the deed conveyed by Mrs. Anderson to the Trustees of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church was legal.  Mr. Barton said that while the Bethel Church was not legally incorporated and not specific to any particular denomination, there was a formal transaction between them and James Britton and that the land appeared to have been legally vested to them.  As for the omission of the subdivision in the Britton/Anderson deed, it was not an uncommon occurrence in those times for a gentlemen’s agreement to be struck where an unwritten accord between Britton and Anderson would have assumed that the subdivision was valid.  Keeping that in mind, Mr. Barton said that the even though the Britton/Anderson deed failed to mention the Britton/Bethel title, doing so would have been a familiar way to do business and that both parties would have likely recognized the Bethel Church claim.

Insofar as the legality of the Anderson/Trinity deed, Mr. Barton was asked if the exchange of money would have affected the sale.  He explained that the $20.00 paid to Mrs. Anderson from the Methodists probably had to do with there being a building on the property where there was none when Elias Anderson had purchased the land.  The transaction, therefore, was exchanged in consideration for the improvement made to the property.  Barton concluded that the original Bethel deed may legally supersede the 1855 transaction, but it was likely that the Bethel congregation had transitioned into a Methodist congregation, meaning that the same people who attended the Bethel Church were the same people who incorporated themselves as Methodists, and thus the Anderson/Trinity deed might be construed as valid. 

It was Barton’s suggestion about a Bethel/Methodist progression that prompted a closer look at the list of Trustees from both churches and the results revealed two interesting facts:  Not only did David R. Anderson’s name appear as a Trustee on both the Bethel Church and the Trinity Methodist Church listings, but he was also the son of Abigail W. Rogers and Elias L. Anderson.  That connection established a direct link between the two congregations and the landowners.  Elias, being David’s father, would have been well aware of the subdivision and his son’s involvement in it and would have most likely honored the agreement between James K. Britton and the Bethel Church.  Additionally, Abigail would have assuredly been on the same page as her son where the instituting of the Methodist Church was concerned, thus the Bethel/Methodist connection that Barton had suggested had been confirmed.

The Methodists had without question used Dover Chapel as their place of worship well before being legally incorporated and they also continued to bury their dead in the cemetery.  In doing so, however, Tom Barton explained they inadvertently created what is known as a Color of Title, which is generally applied when “any fact which appears on its face to support a claim of present title to land for some reason fails to establish ownership by law.”[27]  In this case, the sale of land by Mrs. Anderson to the Methodist Church is the fact which appeared on its face to support a claim of present title because, while the deed specified the lot as, “The same being a part of the lot or tract of land conveyed by James K. Britton…to Elias Anderson,” it neglected to mention the Bethel Church title, which was still technically valid.  The Britton/Anderson sale containing the omission of the Bethel subdivision did not legally supersede the Britton/Bethel deed, as there was no language in it requiring that the Dover Chapel land be reverted back to Britton for non-compliance.  When considering the concept of Color of Title, the Methodist purchase of the same land should not be considered legally valid because the tract was already owned by the Bethel Church.  That fact could then be seen as the reason why the Anderson/Trinity transaction failed to establish ownership by law. 

In summary of the Britton/Bethel/Anderson deeds, it appeared that all the parties involved were working toward the same end despite the legal entanglements it fostered.  Britton had obviously wanted to be part of the establishment of the first church in Potter’s Creek, as did the Andersons, whose efforts to bring religion to their community was the catalyst for the rise of Methodism in their town during the Second Great Awakening.  There was a question of compliance concerning the Free Church, but any verbal agreements with Britton would have been moot by the time of the Methodist incorporation and the Anderson/Trinity agreement since he had died five years before.  The omission of the subdivision was also not an issue, as it was clear that Elias Anderson was fully aware of its existence and would have honored his son’s position as a Trustee.  Finally, because many of those who attended services at the Bethel Church had converted to Methodism, that would have, in effect, removed any suspicions of conflict where the resale of the deed and the Color of Title were concerned.  Tom Barton concluded in his unofficial assessment of the deeds that it would probably take a court decision to clear the matter up.

Attempts to Establish Ownership

After reviewing the convoluted evidence, it was easy to see why the Trinity Methodist Church might believe that they did not own the Dover Chapel Cemetery.  The question of ownership did not become pressing, however, until church membership began to swell beyond what the capacity of the property could handle.  As such, there were at least two attempts by the Trustees of the Methodist Church to work through the complicated deed situation.  The first occurred in 1977 when a lack parking for the congregation had reached critical mass.  The placement of Trinity Hall in 1957[28] across the back of the church parking lot had eaten up what little space there had between the back of the parsonage[29] and the front edge of Bayview Cemetery.  Furthermore, the church could not expand into the lot on the south side of the Trinity Chapel because that property was not conveyed to them until May 17, 1982.[30]

With no place to go, the church looked to the Dover Chapel property and found that they could blacktop a small section of it along the western access road and provide room for perhaps fifteen to twenty church member vehicles.  Wanting to move ahead, but believing that they did not own the property, the church petitioned the township to “deed…an unused portion of the old cemetery”[31] to them.  They did not attempt to have the entire burial ground titled to them, however, which made sense if the cost of maintenance and the threat of liability were a concern.  Berkeley Township replied that the church must bear the cost of researching the deed history and present their findings in writing to the town for consideration.  The Trustees enlisted church member, Rudy Clapp, to investigate the deed history and in their report to the township committee explained that a “search of the old deed books at Freehold [Monmouth County] which preceded the year 1850”[32] revealed the sale of land between John Jeffrey and James Britton in 1824 and the subdivision deed from Britton to the Bethel Church that same year.  The report failed to note the Anderson/Trinity land transaction that would have shown that the Trinity Methodist Church had taken control of the property in 1855.  By not taking the Anderson/Trinity deed into consideration, the survey jumped to the conclusion that the 1824 deed between Britton and the Bethel Church was “still in force.”[33]  The church did not, unfortunately, consult a professional title search company, but instead relied on the efforts of a volunteer church member to do the work, which may have been the reason why the Britton/Anderson and Anderson/Trinity deeds were missed.  Had they done so, there may have been a different outcome and the question of ownership may have been answered years ago.  Armed with only part of the evidence, the church could only report to the township that it could not, “obtain a clear title as the…extensive search does show.”[34] Despite their conclusion, the church still requested that the township allow them to move ahead with their expansion plan.  As to whether the township officially granted the church’s petition, several people at Berkeley Township town hall in researching my request were unable to find any record of the proceeding or its results because such records were not generally kept after a certain amount of years.[35]  The parking lot was installed at some point and is still in use today, but it must be noted that the township did not appear to require an archaeological survey in their response to the church’s petition.  While it does not outwardly appear that graves had been paved over, commencing work with no concrete burial plot plan meant not being reasonably sure where all the interments were located, and so it is possible that there are some of graves underneath the parking area. 

The most recent effort by the church to unscramble the ambiguity of the Dover Chapel Cemetery deed history occurred in 2001 when they employed Ernst, Ernst, and Lissenden to survey the property.  There were two notations of interest that stood out on the resulting survey map.  The first stated that no deed could be found “for this portion of Lot 20,”[36] which was located in the Dover Chapel Cemetery section of the map.  The second anomaly concerned a 7940 square foot section running along the western edge of the Dover Chapel property that appeared to cover the area of the previously mentioned parking lot.  Here the notation stated, “This portion of Tax Lot 20, Block 858 purported to be owned by Trinity Methodist Church.  A deed for this area was not found.”[37]  It was not clear why there was no mention of any of the existing Dover Chapel deeds or why it was thought that the parking area held a separate title, but a closer examination of the cemetery property might have helped to remove any misconceptions. 

Both the 1977 layman’s survey and the 2002 Ernst and Lissenden survey were unsuccessful in their attempts to expose all the evidence needed to better understand the history of the Dover Chapel property, but there was one other discrepancy that further confused the entire situation.  Officials of Berkeley Township have made it clear that they believe the Trinity Methodist Church owns the Dover Chapel property.  When asked how they arrived at that conclusion, they simply looked to the tax map.  Unfortunately, that map, even at a simple glance, was clearly incorrect.  For one thing, it outlined the entire area of the Trinity Church, Dover Chapel Cemetery and the old section of Bayview Cemetery and it labeled the area as being owned by the, “Bayview Methodist Church”[38] (see Appendix VI).  The map should have shown a clear boundary between the Trinity Methodist Church property and Bayview Cemetery, but it did not.  The newer section of Bayview cemetery purchased in 1932 and located directly behind the old burial ground property was correctly notated, but the map also clearly showed that the Dover Chapel lot was part of the Trinity property. 

With all the ambiguities that surround the Dover Chapel property, it is easy to understand why confusion continues to plague the situation, although at this point in time the issue does not seem to be a problem for the church.  Because the cemetery is in dire need of restoration, however, the question of who holds title to the property will eventually have to be answered if its history is to be preserved.  The dilemma, of course, is that if the church granted permission to move ahead with a restoration plan, which it could do without a court decision, doing so would mean admitting ownership.  The township or the county might be able to assume the property and allow a restoration, but it is unlikely that officials would want to take on any insurance liabilities that might be attached to such a proposition.  Ideally, the property could be turned over to a private concern, such as the Berkeley Township Historical Society.  A project of such proportions, however, would require funding that it could not provide and having declined other historic projects in the past, it is doubtful that its membership would be interested in pursuing it.  Perhaps the best approach would be to turn the property over to a group of people willing to form a non-profit cemetery association responsible for the care, maintenance, and restoration of the burial ground.

Digging in the Dirt

            For those of us in contemporary times, the existence of the Dover Chapel building is hard to imagine since it disappeared from the property over seventy-five years ago.  For us to visualize it today would require a reconstruction of its memory through historic documentation and archaeological means.  Thus far, deeds, maps, and secondary resources have been used to gather a solid historical base on the cemetery property, but there is little physical evidence left to study because the building itself is gone and there are no known photographs that might tell us something about it.  Based on what we know about the socio-economic status of the people, we can probably assume that the architectural style was plain and the structure small in stature since the congregation did not appear to have much money.  The precise location of the chapel within the cemetery has never been properly established, but finding where it once stood would allow us to dig for artifacts that could potentially tell us much more about the building’s history and the cultural norms of the people that prayed there.  The chapel’s general placement might be surmised by the two large areas of the burial ground that appear to be void interments, and that was a good place to start, but there were other, more scientific ways of tracking it down.

            Narrowing the area of excavation was the first step toward knowing where to put the shovels and trowels to work.  While it was obvious that there were two large areas where no gravemarkers were present, plotting out the cemetery on graph paper would give us a bird’s eye view of the site and help to better pinpoint the chapel’s location.  To do so, the chain link fence that lined the eastern periphery of the cemetery running from the north to the south was used as a straightedge.  From it was measured the distance between the fence and the headstones east to west.  Butler Avenue, which ran perpendicular, was used as a right angle to the fence, although it ran slightly to the right of ninety degrees.  A string line was stretched out parallel to Butler Avenue about ten feet in from the road.  That allowed for the use of a one-hundred foot tape measure to be laid perpendicular to the string line and parallel to the fence across the length of the cemetery.  The tape was then used to measure the distance from the string line to the individual headstones from the north to the south and moved east to west every twenty feet.  A carpenter’s tape was used to mark the location of the gravemarkers from east to west within each twenty-foot area.  The increments that were measured out on the crude grid were transposed onto graph paper to create a plot map of the site.  The system was not perfect, but precision surveying tools were not available, so the plotting was more of an honest estimate of each gravemarker’s location than it was an exact depiction.  The mapping portion of the project took somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty-four hours to complete over three days, but the results were positive and helpful in showing the layout of the property and the vacant areas in question.

            What were fairly accurate were the measurements of the voids.  Although several were revealed using the grid system, the two areas assumed to house the chapel site emerged on the plot map as having the most potential based on their large dimensions.  One rectangular area, labeled Void I, graced the front edge of the cemetery about twenty-feet across and perhaps thirty-five feet back from the fence where it butted up against Void II, which stretched out lengthwise from north to south about sixty-five feet.  East to west, Void II varied at different points in width from nineteen feet on the northern side, thirty-seven feet on the south, and fifty feet across the center.  Void II was then divided into boxes each according to its width (see Appendix V), with Void II-A (23’x35’) representing the left, Void-II-B (25’x40’) in the middle, and Void II-C (20’x20’) on the right.  In analyzing the areas plotted out on the map, Void I appeared to be more like a driveway where people would have once entered the property.  Based on its layout, size and position, Void-II seemed to be the most likely place to find the chapel foundation.

            Returning to the site armed with the plot map and assisted by budding historian, Kyle Guilbeaux, the excavation portion of the project commenced.  A probe was used across all the newly outlined areas to see if there might be something left of the sandstone foundation that the chapel was assumed to have been built on and also to perhaps find any graves hidden beneath our feet.  During the probing it was noticed that the soil was very hard to poke through and it was not until STP I was excavated and the stony earth was revealed that we realized why there was such resistance.  No graves were discovered during the probing process, but there was a general area within Void-II-A where something solid stopped the probe dead about three feet down.  Void-II-A being roughly the size of a small building, prompted us to look at some of the maps that were made by Jerry Beer, who had painstakingly drawn out the original dimensions of the cemetery based on information gleaned from the deeds.  On one of his maps it appeared that Beer had also assumed the location of the chapel to be in the same area that we had labeled Void-II-A, as he had drawn a line from the southeastern corner of the fence to the area of the void at a distance of one hundred and seventy-eight feet.  Duplicating his measurement, we angled across the cemetery and intersected Void-II-A at seventy-eight feet, which was one-hundred feet less than Beer’s notation, but we considered the difference to be a simple error in his transcription and assumed that Void-II-A was the right place to dig.

The most obvious way to establish exactly where the chapel had been built, of course, was to recover remnants of any cultural features[39] in the earth left by the structure and those who attended prayer meetings there over the course of the building’s twenty-six year use.  The question of ownership still being an issue, though, meant that getting permission to archaeologically study the burial ground would be impossible.  After some consternation, it was finally decided that if neither the church nor the town were willing to admit ownership, then the Dover Chapel property was, for all intents and purposes, abandoned, and that a minor excavation would be executed.  If, however, either party raised an objection at any point the work would immediately stop.

With the question of “do or don’t” decided and the general area of the site determined, the next step was to employ certain archaeological standards designed to retrieve historical artifacts in an effort to reestablish the boundaries of the chapel’s foundation.  Anything left of the building would have been represented by remnants of the sandstone foundation, hand-cut nails, glass shards, possibly window lead, and, if luck was on our side, perhaps a tool that was used to construct it.  Because the chapel was a public meeting place, people would have likely dropped or lost certain items, so there was a hope that coins, buttons, pieces of tobacco pipe, and other tidbits of material property used in the congregation’s culture would be found as well.  In archaeology, however, artifacts are considered secondary to the cultural data gleaned from them.[40]  Although that was not the primary purpose of the Dover Chapel excavation, anything we might find had the potential of providing a new dimension to the work.  We had few records before 1850 from the people of Potter’s Creek that would give us some indication of their lifestyle beyond a handful of court records, store manifests, and Bibles, so having the opportunity to examine their refuse could potentially give us an important insight into their lives and better the historic record. 

What we did not want to find was evidence of human remains.  Even minor excavating in a burial ground brings with it a certain degree of consideration in the area of respect and ethical behavior.[41]  The dilemma for us was that although human remains were not expected to be found at the site that did not mean that they would not be.  The last known burial to take place at Dover Chapel Cemetery was in 1956, some seventy-six years after the Methodists abandoned the old chapel.  There were no guarantees that the area under the building was not later used as an eternal resting place for the dead and so it was decided that any evidence of burial would immediately terminate the dig.  Outwardly, the area of excavation in question was void of interments in terms of a lack of gravemarkers.  The site also displayed a fairly flat ground surface with no noticeable depressions indicating a possible gravesite and that helped in the decision to move forward.  As we will see, the assumption of evidence was correct and the only bones that turned up were animal.

            Once the general area of the chapel was established, it was decided to dig one shovel test pit in its center because, short of a major excavation of the property, there was no firm way to know exactly where the foundation would have been.  Digging where the church patrons would have congregated might therefore yield enough evidence to prove a cultural existence and satisfy the purpose of the excavation.  The question of whether the chapel had a wood floor came to mind because that would have made a big difference in terms of artifact recovery.  It was certainly possible that people may have lost personal items through cracks in the flooring, but it would have bolstered the potential to find relics if the church had been floorless and may also have told us something about the structural makeup of the building.

            A bottomless tent was raised over the site and a one-foot square area was marked out on the ground inside it where we would dig.  A four-inch plug of grass and topsoil was carefully removed and set aside for later replacement.  We then commenced to removing the earth with hand shovels into a bucket, which was then dumped into a screen[42] and sifted over a tarp.  The soil was extremely rock-laden and rather hard to sort through, but by the fourth bucketful, a nail emerged as the first artifact (see Appendix I).  The stones that permeated the ground were similar in size and shape and we wondered if perhaps fill was used to cover the hole left by the chapel once it was removed.  The uniform nature of the stones helped, however, when two completely dissimilar heat-treated rocks surfaced near the bottom of Strat I (see Appendix II).  The artifacts were bagged and notated accordingly and set aside while we prepared to dig into the next level.  Immediately found in the first bucketful of earth in Strat II were shards of quartz (see Appendix II), perhaps also once heated, two specimens of charcoaled wood, and three pieces of animal bone (see Appendix III), probably from a bird.  Another three inches or so down a piece of glass was uncovered (see Appendix I), but there was nothing else found throughout the rest of Strat II.  The artifacts from Strat II were bagged and tagged and a sample of the stony soil, which was consistent at every level, was also collected (see Appendix VII).  STP I was terminated at a depth of two feet after Strat III showed a total lack of artifacts.

A sketch was made of the eastern wall profile of the excavation representing each strat and any anomalies.  No Munsell book was available to record the soil color and texture, so a small sample from each strat was taped to a piece of paper, marked accordingly, and later checked against the Munsell book (see Appendix VII).  Strat I (0”-7”), had an oddly shaped blackened ring five inches down on the left and on the right side a red heat treated rock was found jutting out from the wall at about the same level (see Appendix VIII).  Strat II (7”-16”), showed no anomalies and Strat II (16”-24”), displayed a noticeable change in the dampness of the soil that appeared to be getting much more wet the further down we dug.

 Although there were few artifacts found in the excavation, what was discovered yielded enough information to tell us that human beings had made some sort of cultural impact in that area of the site.  One might say, well of course they did because the dig took place in a cemetery.  With the exception of the nail, however, the other objects would not normally show up in a gravesite.  The heat treated rocks, for instance, showed that some sort of heating or cooking device was used that involved heating stones and the charcoaled wood was possible evidence of its energy source.  The glass shard was perhaps the most direct evidence of the existence of a building and when coupled with the nail, it made sense that we were digging in the right place.  Of course, if someone had deposited fill into the hole left by the chapel, then none of the evidence collected would have been of value to this study. 

            The minor excavation made for a good starting point should any further search for the chapel foundation be attempted.  We did not find any coins, buttons or tobacco pipe stems, but then we only processed a tiny sample of the area.  There was evidence of a structure found in the glass shard and the nail and also of human occupation from the heat treated rocks and charcoaled wood.  As for the bones, it was surmised that either someone ate an animal and threw its remains on the ground or that perhaps whatever it was simply died or its remains brought to the spot long ago by a predator, but we will never really know for sure.  More important was the absence of human remains at the site, which may be an indication that the voids were not used for burial after the removal of the chapel building.  We learned little from the artifacts about the cultural habits of the people of Potter’s Creek beyond that they used wood for their fires and plate glass in their construction, but it was a good start.

Whatever Became of the Dover Chapel Building?

Dover Chapel was probably a very small building and as the population of the town grew, so did community participation in the church, which, in turn, created a need for a larger meeting place.  The demand was met when a new chapel was constructed on the property adjacent to the Dover Chapel lot.[43]  The land upon which the church was built was sold to the Trustees of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Bayville “and their successors in Office forever”[44] on October 1, 1872 by Burzilar Burroughs Anderson (1833-1883), and his wife, Amelia (1836–1915), and prominent undertaker, Charles P. Anderson, Sr. (1833-1912), and his wife, Sarah (1834-1875).  The cornerstone of the new structure was laid on September 9, 1873, but the church itself was not dedicated until June 20, 1880 after seven years of on-and-off construction.[45]  As time went on, Dover Chapel Cemetery quickly began to reach its maximum capacity and, as such, a section of land behind Trinity Chapel was sold to the Bayview Cemetery Corporation by David R. Anderson (1852-1944) and his wife, Katherine Anderson (1868-1942) on December 13, 1902.[46]  That cemetery is still in active today under the auspices of the Bayview Cemetery Improvement Association, which was incorporated on December 21, 1931.

There were scant few mentions of Dover Chapel until Gustave Kobbe referenced it in 1889, when he described Bayville as a “straggling settlement”[47] with a Free Chruch that appeared during his time to be “a melancholy looking shell…[that was once used on a] first come first served [basis by] itinerate ministers [who] would of a Sabbath morning come to blows for the right to hold services and the accompanying privilege of taking up a collection.”[48]  Later, historian, Edwin Salter, also made mention of the building saying, “Old Dover Chapel was built about 1829 as a church free to all denominations.  It was used mainly by the Methodist Episcopal Society and next by the Protestant Methodists.”[49]  From where he derived his sources is unknown since Salter did not cite his work, but it did help to establish an approximate year in which the chapel was built and also confirmed that it was used by the Methodist community.

Fact or Folklore?

            There have been other references to Dover Chapel over the years, but the reports often mistook the chapel building for the schoolhouse that once stood between the Trinity Methodist Church and the cemetery.  There was one interesting account, however, that deserved a follow-up because it came from an oral history of life-long Bayville resident, Jeanette T. Enggren (1910-2000), who had related her story over the years to other members of the Berkeley Township Historical Society.  Although the history was eventually written down, the transcript bore no name, but it was my understanding that it was local historian, Jerry Beer, who took the time to record the story and as it was he who gave me a hand-written copy of the account, I will credit Mr. Beer as the transcriber.  The following is a paraphrased excerpt of that oral history:[50]

According to Mrs. Jean Enggren, she married her husband, John (1905-1999), in 1932, at  which time her mother-in-law gave the newlyweds her house, located on the west side of Route 9, across from and just south of Lawrence Avenue in Bayville.  She was told that their new house had been part of another structure that had been moved to its current location by her husband’s grandfather, Theodore Chamberlain (1842-1925) in 1888 from “the area of the old cemetery.”  She also said that the building in question was sometimes called the Dover Chapel and that it was sided with clapboard and had two doors, one on the north side and the other on the west.  Mrs. Enggren went on to say that she and her husband reconfigured the building with additions to the front and rear of the house, added dormers and resided the house with cedar.

In analyzing the previous account, some concerns came to mind about its validity.  First, it was important to keep in mind that Mrs. Enggren related her story in the eighty-ninth year of her life and had to recall conversations that took place over seventy years prior about events that happened almost twenty-five years before she was born.  That fact did not by itself discount the history, but it was reasonable to consider it as a potential variable in the story.  Secondly, Jerry Beer reported seeing post-1900 newspaper accounts that mentioned the state of the Old Dover Chapel building as being dilapidated and prime for demolition.[51]  If true, then Mrs. Enggren’s narrative would not be accurate since the year that she said the building was relocated was at least twelve years prior to news articles.  One saving grace for the story was the constant confusion among several broadsheet publications that pointed to the Dover Chapel School building as being the Dover Chapel Free Church.[52]  The schoolhouse was not demolished until after 1930,[53] so it would have been very easy for someone in the media not entirely familiar with the history of the property and its structures to misidentify the schoolhouse as the chapel when in fact it was not.

The size of Dover Chapel would be a factor in Mrs. Enggren’s account if we knew its approximate dimensions.  In a report[54] to the Berkeley Township Historical Society, Beer said that he took measurements of the exterior of the old Enggren house and found them to be 15’x24’.  A building of those dimensions would have fit nicely into any of the vacant areas of the cemetery seemingly void of interments.  The Dover Chapel structure, however, would be one-hundred and seventy-seven years old if it stood today.  In comparison, other structures of similar age in the town have not fared so well and most have fallen to neglect, but it is possible that with proper maintenance the chapel building could have survived almost two centuries. 

Is the story then fact or folklore?  It is hard to say for sure lacking anymore information.  A further investigation of the claim might include an exercise in dendrochronology[55] by taking core samples from the roof rafters in the Enggren house and applying them to the methods of that science.  As of this writing, the Enggren house is on the housing market inviting the idea that such an examination might be possible without intruding upon anyone who might live there.  A countless, hours-long search through dozens of year’s worth of newspapers on microfilm to find references to the Dover Chapel after 1888 would also help, although evidence from that search would not necessarily prove anything conclusive unless there was a photograph accompanying an article.


            Historical Archaeology, as the name implies, requires that two disciplines be combined to form an historical document.[56]  The success of the Dover Chapel project would not have been possible without doing so, even though the documentational aspects far outweighed the archaeological employment.  The question of ownership prevented any large-scale excavation, but what little artifact evidence was found did add to the record.  Historically speaking, documents, maps and deeds are what generally lead to the possibility of an excavation in the first place, and that certainly held true here.  Once the investigation into the burial ground’s history was complete, a better understanding of the overall project was developed and evidence of a cultural change of the property was determined to be true.  The minor excavation, while able to produce that evidence, was not able to offer definitive proof of the chapel building’s location, but it certainly narrowed the search and laid the groundwork for a full-scale archaeological dig.

On the rather vast subject of ownership, the intensive sorting out of the deeds triggered almost as many questions as it answered, but based on what has been learned from that experience, I am fairly confident that a magistrate might very well, after hearing a thorough examination of the evidence, determine that Methodist Church does indeed own the Dover Chapel Cemetery property.  While that probably would not sit well with the Trustees, the evidence is simply contrary to their beliefs and too immense to ignore.  For whatever their reason, it is clear that the church does not want the property, but that does not mean that they are stuck with Dover Chapel.  They do have the option of transferring the property to a private concern as was earlier suggested and they also might want to discuss their options with the New Jersey Cemetery Board, which may or may not have a simple answer to their situation. 

How this report is used in the future depends upon how much we want to save a piece of local American history.  All too often our historic sites, whether building or burial ground, are left to the ravages of time and neglect, hardly noticed as we pass them by everyday in our modern driving machines.  The Dover Chapel Cemetery is a landmark in Berkeley Township that deserves to be restored for the sake of its history and in the name of those buried there who would have wanted their eternal resting place remembered.


[1] Angela Partington, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, (Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 303.

[2] A phone conversation was held between this author and the secretary of the Trinity Methodist Church on July 18, 2001explained that the Board of Trustees did not believe that the church owned the Dover Chapel property.

[3] While searching for tax maps of the site in July of 2001, an employee of the Berkeley Township Tax Assessor’s office reported that according to what she saw on the tax map, the cemetery belonged to the Trinity Methodist Church.

[4] The term “Bethel” is defined as a sacred or holy place, such as a church or sanctuary.

[5] A large, professionally painted sign attached to the outlining fence read as follows: “Dover Chapel Cemetery, Renovated by Boy Scout Troop #83.”

[6] There are no known interment records for the Dover Chapel Cemetery.  Any and all burial information was culled from the existing gravemarkers, newspaper death notices, obituaries and articles.

[7] Attempts were made to find out when and why the footstones were removed, but phone calls to the Ocean County Boy Scouts Association were not returned and Berkeley Township officials could not recall the event.  There has only been unsubstantiated supposition from a few people who had ventured into the burial ground while I was there and remarked that they vaguely remembered hearing that an inmate crew had removed the markers.  Such remarks cannot be verified and therefore we are left with a mystery.

[8] The name “Potter’s Creek” was renamed “Chaseford” in 1866 in honor of United States Secretary of Treasury under Abraham Lincoln, Salmon Portland Chase, and then it was changed again in 1870 to Bayville.  Edwin Salter, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, (Bayonne, New Jersey, E. Gardner and Son, Publishers, 1890), p. 280; Pauline Miller, Ocean County: Four Centuries in the Making, (Toms River, New Jersey: Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 2000), p. 372.

[9] ________, Ocean County Indian Site Survey, Ocean County Historical Society Library Collection, (Toms River, New Jersey, 1978), 78:6.1-78:6.6.

[10] Ocean County seceded from Monmouth County on February 15, 1850. Pauline Miller, Ocean County: Four Centuries in the Making, (Toms River, New Jersey: Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 2000), p. xiii.

[11] ________, Berkeley Township: The First 100 Years, (Bayville, New Jersey: Berkeley Township Centennial Commission, 1975), p. 6.

[12] Berkeley Township was once part of Dover Township, the latter of which was renamed Toms River Township

on November 14, 2006.  ________, “Dover Township Officially Becomes Toms River Tonight,” Asbury Park Press, November 14, 2006.

[13] Ocean County seceded from Monmouth County on February 15, 1850. Pauline Miller, Ocean County: Four Centuries in the Making, (Toms River, New Jersey: Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 2000), p. 95.

[14] Edwin Salter, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, (Bayonne, New Jersey, E. Gardner and Son, Publishers, 1890), p. 283.

[15] The only known reference to other burials at the Chamberlain Burial Ground site showed up in Stillwell’s Addenda and Errata, where he noted, “The farm now owned by Albert S. Tilton, Esq., was formerly the property of the Chamberlains.  Traditionally there were many more stones before the ownership of Mr. Tilton, who permitted these three to stand unmolested.” John E. Stillwell, Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Volume III, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1970, p. 474.

[16] Deed of Sale from John Jeffrey to James Britton, May 25, 1824, Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book H-2, page 434, Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[17] Deed of Sale from James Britton to Trustees of Bethel Church, July 25, 1824, Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book K-2, page 9, Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[18] ________, “Murray Grove in Lanoka Harbor is Birthplace of Universalist Church,” Ocean County Sun,July 20, 1951.

[19] Deed of Sale from James Britton to Elias L. Anderson, July 31, 1826, Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book M-2, page 96, Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[20] Edwin Salter, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, (Bayonne, New Jersey, E. Gardner and Son, Publishers, 1890), p. 258.

[21] David Charles Sloane, The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 11-12.

[22] The Incorporation of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Bayville, Ocean County Miscellaneous Corporations, Volume I, page 33, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[23] Deed of Sale from the Estate of Elias L. Anderson to the Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek, January 23, 1855, Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 9, page 249, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[24] The Trustees listed in the deed were David R. Anderson (1804–1848), Moses Anderson (1835–1892), William Jeffrey (1816- 1885), Captain Caleb Grant (1816–1879), and Samuel Tucker Rogers (1808–1878).  Deed of Sale from the Estate of Elias L. Anderson to the Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek, January 23, 1855, Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 9, page 249, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[25] Thomas J. Barton, “Deed Consultation,” Interviewed by Steven J. Baeli, November 29, 2006.

[26] The opposite of a “full warranty” deed is a “bargain and sale,” which simply means that there are no such promises of clear title.

[27] ________, “Real Estate Law–Title, Question 2 of 4,” n.p. <> 2006.

[28] Trinity Hall was completed in 1957 and was to serve as an educational center for Bible classes, church functions, and later, Boy Scout troop meetings.  It was connected to the back of the chapel via a short hallway and then ell’d off to the north all the way across the parking lot.  At the end of the hall was a breeze-way and a one-car garage.  Eleanor Bunnell Lewis, Trinity Methodist Church, Bayville, New Jersey: History, (Bayville, New Jersey: Trinity Methodist Church, 1960), p. 13-16.

[29] The idea for a parsonage to accommodate a permanent minister and his family was first conceived in 1914, but it was not built until 1932, which is about the time that it is believed that the Dover Chapel School building was torn down.  The Dutch Colonial-styled house sits up against the highway mid-way between the Trinity Chapel building and the Dover Chapel Cemetery and a narrow driveway directs the traffic around it in and out of the parking lot.  Eleanor Bunnell Lewis, Trinity Methodist Church, Bayville, New Jersey: History, (Bayville, New Jersey: Trinity Methodist Church, 1960), p. 9.

[30] The purchase of this property allowed for future expansion and the pending (as of this writing) new chapel building.  Deed of Sale from Paul and Eleanor Sedlak to the Trinity United Methodist Church, May 17, 1982, Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 4060, page 906, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[31] Howard L. Cassiday, “Petition to the Berkeley Township Committee,” Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, October 10, 1978, p. 1.

[32] Howard L. Cassiday, “Petition to the Berkeley Township Committee,” Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, October 10, 1978, p. 1.

[33] Ibid, p. 2.

[34] Ibid, p. 2.

[35] In a phone call to the Berkeley Tax Assessor Office on November 30, 2006, the township’s reaffirmed its stance that the Dover Chapel cemetery property was owned by the church.  In search for an answer to the petition question, I spoke with Susan Metcalf, who could not find any record of the church’s request.

[36] John Ernst, “Survey Map of Lot 21 and Portion of Lot 20 in Tax Block 858,” Ernst, Ernst and Lissenden, Engineers and Surveyors, January 29, 2002.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Berkeley Township Tax Map, Number 104, John C. Fellows and Son, Civil Engineers, Berkeley Township Tax Assessor’s Office, 1966.

[39] R. Alan Mounier, Looking Beneath the Surface: The Story of Archaeology in New Jersey, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2003), p. 12.

[40] Ivor Noel Hume, A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1969), p. 5.

[41] R. Michael Stewart, Archaeology: Basic Field Methods, (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2002), p. 6.

[42] A two-foot square sifting screen was made out of standard 2”x4” lumber and ¼” screen fabric.

[43] The chapel raised between 1872 and 1880 still stands today, although a recent combining of the congregations between Ocean Gate Methodist Church and Trinity Methodist Church sparked plans for a new building to be constructed next to the original chapel.

[44] Deed of Sale from Burzilar Burroughs Anderson, Amelia A. Anderson, Charles P. Anderson, Sr. and Sarah Anderson to the Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek, October 1, 1872, Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 227, page 259, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[45] Frank Bateman Stanger, The Methodist Trail in New Jersey, (Trenton, New Jersey: The New Jersey Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, 1961), p. 182.

[46] Deed of Sale from David R. Anderson and Katherine Anderson to the Bay View Cemetery Corporation, December 13, 1902, Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 273, page 350, Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

[47] Gustave Kobbe, The Jersey Coast and Pines, (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Incorporated, 1970), p. 69.

[48] Gustave Kobbe, The Jersey Coast and Pines, (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Incorporated, 1970), p. 69.

[49] Edwin Salter, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, (Bayonne, New Jersey, E. Gardner and Son, Publishers, 1890), p. 258.

[50] Jeanette T. Enggren, “An Oral Account of What Became of the Dover Chapel,” Transcribed by Jerry Beer, Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, 1999, pp. 3-4.

[51] During the course of research for this project, I spoke to Jerry Beer on the phone and in person about the history of the cemetery and specifically about Dover Chapel.  He related that he had some newspaper articles that mentioned the chapel, but he was not able to immediately access them.

[52] A perusing of articles in the vertical files of the Ocean County Historical Society Library showed report after report confusing Dover Chapel with the nearby schoolhouse. 

[53] Gerald N. Beer, “A Report to the Berkeley Township Historical Society Chronicling and Confirming the Origin of the Dover Chapel and Dover Chapel School,” Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives,” June 24, 1998, p. 5.

[54] Ibid, p. 3.

[55] Dendrochronology is a method used for dating wood and is often applied to the art of dating historical structures. Lars-Åke Larsson, “What is Dendrochronology?,” Dendrochronology for Amateurs, n.p. <

forfun/dendro/index.htm> Cybis Elektronik & Data AB, 2004.

[56] Richard Francis Veit, Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2002), pp. 1-2.


Works Cited

Newspapers & Periodicals

Asbury Park Press (2006)

Ocean County Sun (1951)



Partington, Angela. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. (Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1993).


Internet Sources


________. “Real Estate Law – Title, Question 2 of 4.” n.p. <> 2006.

Larsson, Lars-Åke. “What is Dendrochronology?” Dendrochronology for Amateurs. n.p. <>, Cybis Elektronik & Data AB, 2004.


Books & Pamphlets

________. Berkeley Township: The First 100 Years. Bayville, New Jersey: Berkeley Township Centennial Commission, 1975.

________. Ocean County Indian Site Survey. Ocean County Historical Society Library Collection. Toms River, New Jersey, 1978.

Kobbe, Gustave. The Jersey Coast and Pines. Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Incorporated, 1970.

Hume, Noel. A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1969.

Lewis, Eleanor Trinity Methodist Church, Bayville, New Jersey: History. Bayville, New Jersey: Trinity Methodist Church, 1960.

Miller, Pauline. Ocean County: Four Centuries in the Making. Toms River, New Jersey: Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 2000.

Mounier, R. Looking Beneath the Surface: The Story of Archaeology in New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Salter, Edwin, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Bayonne, New Jersey, E. Gardner and Son, Publishers, 1890.

Sloane, David. The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Stanger, Frank. The Methodist Trail in the New Jersey. Trenton, New Jersey: The New Jersey Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, 1961.

Stewart, R. Archaeology: Basic Field Methods. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2002.

Stillwell, John. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Volume III. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1970.

Veit, Richard. Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2002.


Deeds and Government Documents

Deed of Sale from John Jeffrey to James Britton. May 25, 1824. Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book H-2, page 434. Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from James Britton to Trustees of Bethel Church. July 25, 1824. Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book K-2, page 9. Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from James Britton to Elias L. Anderson. July 31, 1826. Monmouth County, New Jersey Deed Book M-2, page 96. Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from the Estate of Elias L. Anderson to the Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek. January 23, 1855. Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 9, page 249. Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from Burzilar Burroughs Anderson, Amelia A. Anderson, Charles P. Anderson, Sr. and Sarah Anderson to the Trustees of the Bayville Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Potter’s Creek. October 1, 1872. Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 227, page 259. Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from David R. Anderson and Katherine Anderson to the Bay View Cemetery Corporation. December 13, 1902. Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 273, page 350. Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

Deed of Sale from Paul and Eleanor Sedlak to the Trinity United Methodist Church. May 17, 1982. Ocean County, New Jersey, Ocean County Deed Book 4060, page 906. Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.

The Incorporation of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Bayville, Ocean County. Miscellaneous Corporations, Volume I, page 33. Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Toms River, New Jersey.


“Berkeley Township Tax Map, Number 104. John C. Fellows and Son, Civil Engineers. Berkeley Township Tax Assessor’s Office, 1966.

Ernst, John. “Survey Map of Lot 21 and Portion of Lot 20 in Tax Block 858.” Ernst, Ernst and Lissenden, Engineers and Surveyors. January 29, 2002.


Unpublished Sources

________. Methodist Circuit Records (1869-1890). Ocean County Historical Society Library Vertical Files. “Church ‘OC’ to Churches ‘ME.’” Churches-Methodist Circuit Records (1869-1890).

         Barton, Thomas. “Deed Consultation.” Interviewed by Steven J. Baeli. November 29, 2006.

Beer, Gerald. “A Report to the Berkeley Township Historical Society Chronicling and Confirming the Origin of the Dover Chapel and Dover Chapel School.” Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, June 24, 1998.

Cassiday, Howard. “Petition to the Berkeley Township Committee.” Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, October 10, 1978.

Enggren, Jeanette. “An Oral Account of What Became of the Dover Chapel.” Interview by Jerry Beer. Berkeley Township Historical Society Archives, 1999.


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