The Mt. Pleasant Cemetery was the vision of Horace Baldwin in 1843, a jewelry maker who envisioned a place of beauty surrounded with everything that can fill the heart with tender and respectful emotions. The first burial was Elizabeth Jacquez 54, on July 1, 1844. The fifty-foot gate designed by noted architect, Thomas Stent built of local brownstone in 1877.
The gates were restored in 2005 with funding from the New Jersey Historic Trust.
The gravestones read like a "Who's Who" of Newark and New Jersey history. Frederick T. Freylinghuysen an Attorney General of New Jersey during the Civil War and later a United States Senator and Secretary of the State, Peter Ballantine, founder of Ballantine Brewery. John F. Dryden founder of Prudential Insurance Company, Franklin Murphy Governor of New Jersey and Mayors Lebkuecher and Peddie of Newark, Edward Weston an electrical invention on par with Edison and Mary Stillwell, Edison's first wife.
Those familiar with Newark's history will recognize other prominent names; Alling, Clark, Conklin, Cummings, McCarter and Ward to mention a few.
There are many interesting styles, inscriptions and designs on the grave markers. The cemetery boasts some of the best funeral sculptures ranging from simple graves to elaborate mausoleums designed in architectural styles ranging from Romanesque and Egyptian Revival to Baroque, Victorian and Art Deco, which never cease to inspire emotion and creativity of early Newarkers.
These makers recall a past and reflect on Newarkers gone before. The winding roads and lanes are named for trees and flowers reflecting the Victorian dedication to nature. Trees in Mount Pleasant's landscape forty rolling, highly landscaped acres include tall evergreens, horse chestnuts, dogwoods, sycamores, lindens, and a variety of maples give an atmosphere of shade and serenity in the historic enclave.