South Jersey’s Legendary Pet Cemetery

It may seem macabre, but a favorite South Jersey spot of mine is the Clara-Glenn Pet Cemetery in Linwood. And what better month than October for such a visit?

Clara-Glenn was founded in 1918 by its namesake husband-and-wife couple, who wanted local folks to have a place to lay their favorite pets to rest with dignity. Ownership changed in 1955, before the two-acre cemetery was donated to the Linwood Historical Society in 1986, which cares for it to this day.

The grounds contain the remains of some of the region’s most beloved pets, as well as the four-legged friends of notable figures like Eddie Cantor, Pearl Buck, Billie Burke, Ed Wynn, Irving Berlin, and J.P. Morgan.

Of the approximately 3,500 creatures sleeping eternally in Clara-Glenn, a handful of them are rather famous. These include the diving horse and Rex the water-skiing dog, both of Atlantic City Steel Pier fame, and the original Rin-Tin-Tin. Pete from the Little Rascals is also rumored among the residents. Others are common (and uncommon) household pets, including parrots, frogs, canaries, and even monkeys.

There haven’t been any new burials here since 1990, but exploring the myriad gravesites—many of which are adorned with beautifully carved statues and granite gravestones—is an unusual time capsule journey indeed.

The grounds are well maintained, but the atmosphere is haunting nonetheless. Tucked inconspicuously behind several homes, Clara-Glenn can also be a little tough to find. It sits between Kirklin and Garfield avenues and is bordered by Shore Road and Wabash Avenue. Trust me, a visit here is well worth the trouble of finding it.

Speaking of pet cemeteries, do you know of any other local oddities worth checking out this season?

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