Pine Brook Cemetery, Tinton Falls, Monmouth County, NJ

The entrance to Pine Brook Cemetery (aka ?Ruffin Cemetery / ?Shadowbrook Cemetery) is located on Ruffin Court in Tinton Falls, Monmouth County, New Jersey.   The place is very difficult to find on maps and Google Maps isn't any easier.   The Hagstrom map of Monmouth County is a pretty good resource for locating cemeteries and this is how we found it.   Ruffin is located on Squankum Road near RT 18 in a quiet residential area, near Earle Naval Weapons Station.

According to historical accounts, the cemetery was established around 1852 as the graveyard of the A.M.E. Macedonia Zion Church on an acre of land which originally held the church building.   The present St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church building is located nearby at the intersection of Squankum and Hamilton Roads.   Boy Scout Troops and perhaps others have attempted to clean up the cemetery and survey the graves but the project is costly and time consuming so no complete job appears to have been accomplished.   The cemetery has been designated a local historical site by Tinton Falls as it houses the graves of several Civil War veterans, specifically those from the north who served in units of "United States Colored Troops."

The biggest area of confusion on our part is just where exactly the boundaries of Pine Brook Cemetery lie and what constitutes Ruffin Cemetery.   One account we found states that Pinebrook lies near Ruffin and is on exactly one acre.   We found grave scattered over an area which appears to be greater than one acre but no delineation of anything called "Ruffin Cemetery."   Presumably our work includes both burial grounds into a single work which, while inaccurate, is unavoidable at this time.

We visited the cemetery in early spring which made it somewhat accessible.   During summer months it would appear to be almost completely obscured by overgrowth.   Many grave markers were almost completely engulfed in brush remains from the prior year.   In summer months, the place is probably near invisible to the casual observer.

As a result of the woods, brush and time, many tombstones are almost completely worn away.   We photographed most of these and transcribed them as best we could.

The following are some of the tombstones we were able to wholly or mostly decipher.   To access tombstone photographs, click on the adjacent links:

The following are markers we were unable to read in whole or in part: