This 19th century New Jersey church has a cemetery and could be your home
Residents of a former church recently converted into a single-family home won’t be giving up their place to a new vendor — their hangout.
When browsing homes for sale, you stumble upon a newly built pool or deck. But have you ever seen a house with a cemetery? A renovated 19th-century church on sale for $650,000 in Delware Township, New Jersey, has been rebranded to suit modern living, as long as you don’t mind sharing the property with a few former congregants.
This listing, about an hour from Philadelphia and an hour and 20 minutes from New York City, was featured on Zillow Gone Wild — an Instagram page dedicated to highlighting unique (and sometimes crazy) home listings throughout the county.
The former Locktown Christian Church first opened its doors in 1828, later becoming a Presbyterian church in the 1980s. There are up to 150 people buried in the cemetery, and the oldest headstone is that of Charity Allen, who died in 1843.
While the house no longer holds the altars and pews of the former Hunterdon County Church, it retains many features such as the church’s bell tower and the original pressed-tin walls and ceilings.
The house overlooks fields of preserved farmland and includes a smaller building that once served as a church rectory. When you enter the house, you find a large great room with a living room, dining room and kitchen. This space, 34 x 35 square feet, was left virtually untouched, except for new paint and a kitchen space. The main floor also houses an office, as well as a laundry room and mudroom.
The 19th-century church was sold to its current owner in 2014 for $74,538 after the church congregation decided to merge it with another nearby Presbyterian church. The 1.1-acre property is being sold by its current owner, local architect Ralph L. Fennelly, who renovated the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home.
Will the new owner need to maintain these graves?
If you’re not looking to take on the stress of maintaining these historic cemeteries, don’t worry. An organization known as the Mount Amwell Project has entered into an agreement with the seller to maintain the cemetery, said Kevin McPheeters, a Realtor with Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty who is managing the listing. The organization will take care of the monuments and stones inside the cemetery, while the new owner will be responsible for mowing the grass.
The second floor contains the home’s master suite and its spa-style bathroom. On the third floor, the loft area leads to two additional bedrooms and a third bathroom.
The current owner also added a tri-zone heating and cooling system, a new septic system, and a high-efficiency water heater.
Climate change is impacting cemetery populations across the United States
Thousands of graves in cemeteries across America have been damaged by floods, storms and erosion caused by climate change.
Ryan Ross, USA Today
Maddie McGee is the real estate reporter for NorthJersey.com and The Record, where she covers all the things worth celebrating living in North Jersey. Search for it Instagram @madiemcgay, on X @madiemcgayyAnd register for it North Jersey Living the news. Do you have a great tip, trend or home that we should know about? Email her at MMcGay@gannett.com.