The Meetinghouse

and Grounds

The Meetinghouse and Grounds

 

The Solebury Friends Meetinghouse was built in 1806 to accommodate local Friends. Prior to 1806, the nearest Quaker house of worship was Buckingham Friends Meeting which distance was inconvenient at the time. Friends from Buckingham Meeting joined the construction effort and finished the project within the same year. The simple sturdy fieldstone and frame structure was built from local materials. The building remains in original condition incorporating architecture unique to Friends’ worship. The only additions of electricity and central heat were installed in the 1960s. The Meetinghouse was listed as an historic structure in 1997 on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Surrounding the building were three carriage sheds used to shelter horses and equipment on First Day (Sunday) during worship. One of the carriage sheds has undergone multiple transitions to become the Education Building. Beginning in the early 1950s, members of Meeting began improvements on it to become more useful for modern purposes. The latest remodeling upgraded the kitchen to facilitate the many social activities of the Meeting. Today the building is used for children’s and adults' religious education, social events and numerous community activities.

 

Across the road from the Meetinghouse stands a resident caretaker’s house built of quarried stone around 1830. Over the years it has been a Quaker school, a social hall and a rental property.  

 

Building Use and Rentals

 

The Meetinghouse and Education Building are available for use by Solebury Friends and greater community members for religious and educational purposes. Typical uses are for weddings, memorial services, local service organizations and meetings. Occupancies are limited to nonprofit organizations and charitable causes. The Meeting approves all occupancies in advance and requests modest financial contributions to cover expenses. The premises are alcohol and tobacco free and occupants agree to a non-discrimination disclosure.

 

Those who need more rental information may contact the House and Grounds Committee Clerks at 609-915-3268 or 609-577-0418 or the caretaker at 267-884-6519.

 

The Graveyard

The Solebury Friends Graveyard is located opposite the Solebury Friends Meetinghouse at corner of Sugan and Meetinghouse Roads. The original section of the Graveyard was laid out in 1808. Other sections were laid out during the 1800s as the need for additional graves arose. In 1949, an additional 7.4 acres was acquired where we now have small graves intended for cremations only as well as a section for local residents who are not members of Solebury Friends Meeting.

 

One of the distinguishing features of our Graveyard is the fact that all grave makers are of a uniform size. In keeping with the Quaker principle of simplicity, all gravestones are the same size and only include the names and birth and death dates of those buried. In the oldest section of the Graveyard, many of the earliest graves have no grave markers as it was the Quaker practice in the early 1800s to not distinguish one grave from another as “this was contrary to the direction of the discipline”.

 

For information on the Graveyard, please contact John Kellogg, Clerk of the Graveyard Committee, at kelloggjw@comcast.net or 609-397-8454

Solebury Friends Meeting Graveyard

Fees and Policies 

GRAVES:

There are two types of graves available in the Graveyard. A standard grave (10’ x 3’6”) will accommodate one full-sized burial. In addition to a full-sized burial, four cremation internments are also permitted in these graves. A section of the Graveyard was recently designated exclusively for cremation burials. Graves in this section (3’6” x 3’6”) will accommodate a maximum of two burials

The following rate schedule applies to the sale of graves:

 

Members of Solebury Meeting             $500 per grave

Non-members of Solebury Meeting    $1,000 per grave

Graves in Cremation Section                $350 per grave

 

GRAVE OPENINGS:

Contact John Kellogg, Clerk of the Meeting's Graveyard Committee at (609) 397-8454. If not available, contact Stuart Wisse at (609) 915-3268. A minimum of three days notice is required for all burials.

The following rate schedule applies to grave openings:

 

Regular burial, weekdays        $ 1,200

Regular burial, Saturday          $ 1,300

Regular burial, Sunday            $ 1,400

Cremation Burial                      $ 350 (any day)

Foundation for a monument  $ 100 

 

The above fees cover opening, closing, administration costs and perpetual care.  

 

Fees and the burial permit or certificate of cremation are to be submitted to Solebury Friends Meeting no later that seven days following the date of burial.  Checks should be made payable to Solebury Friends Meeting. These items should be sent to John Kellogg,

PO Box 242, Stockton, NJ 08559


 

GRAVEYARD POLICIES:     

Gravestones shall not exceed 12” high (including a base, if used), 18” long and 6” thick. Only one vertical headstone is permitted per grave.  No double stones are permitted.  Up to four ground-level stones will be permitted per grave, not larger than 12”x24” each.  Only ground-level stones will be permitted in the section designated for cremation burials.

 

Engraving on gravestones and grave markers shall only include names and dates.  No decorations or emblems are permitted.  A sketch of the headstone shall be submitted to Solebury Friends Meeting for approval at the time a stone is ordered.

 

All headstones (vertical or horizontal) must rest on a foundation supplied by Solebury Friends Meeting. To arrange for the pouring of a foundation, please contact John Kellogg at (609) 397-8454.

 

All caskets must be encased in a cement vault.

 

Trees, shrubs and flowers are not permitted to be planted in the graveyard. This is solely the prerogative of the Meeting. Shrubs now on lots will be removed if they become unsightly, infringe on other graves or interfere with the operation and maintenance of the graveyard. Flowers in containers will be removed after a reasonable length of time. Flower pots are not to be sunk in the ground. No plastic flowers or other artificial decorations are to be placed on graves.

 

Permanent organization markers are not permitted. If organizations wish to place them on graves in order to hold flags they may do so within ten days prior to Memorial Day, after which they will be removed by the caretaker and stored on the grounds.