They Paved Paradise

by K-Berens

Mary Ellis, who died in 1828, once rested in a pastoral setting along a river. Today, her grave is in the middle of a parking lot.

There are many grave sites that are out of place today. Instead of moving them, some places simply choose to build around them and keep the grave and grave marker intact. While it may be an annoyance to some, most people just enjoy it as a quirk. The plots you have to drive around are not solely single headstones – you’ll find mausoleums and even full-blown cemeteries in small plots of grass in parking lots throughout the world.

One famous, out of place grave belongs to Mary Ellis, buried in New Brunswick, New Jersey – the story begins when Mary moved to New Brunswick in the 1790s to live with her sister. She fell in love with a sea captain  who had promised to marry her when he returned from a sea voyage. He left her with his horse while he was gone. Every day, she would ride his horse down to the Raritan River in hopes that she would meet his ship as it came in. She bought land close to the river in 1813, and continued to wait for him every day until she died in 1828. She was then buried on her plot of land, and almost two centuries later a parking lot for a movie theatre surrounds her grave. The owner of the space hopes to relocate Mary’s grave closer to the river.

Read more:

Cemeteries in Parking Lots | Wesley Treat’s Roadside Resort

Mary Ellis Grave | Out of Place Graves on



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