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Blacks Graveyard – Rededication 1968

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Dec 18, 2013

The Gettysburg Times – May 24, 1968

Church will Re-Dedicate Old Cemetery

The Gettysburg Presbyterian Church will conduct a service of rededication of Black’s Graveyard on Belmont Road, west of town, Sunday at 3 p.m.

According to a recent work compiled by Dr. Mary Margaret Steward of the English Department of Gettysburg College and a member of the church, entitled “Black’s Graveyard; A History,” the following information is contained:

“Black’s Graveyard, one of the oldest cemeteries in Adams County, marks the site of the Upper Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church, now the Presbyterian Church of Gettysburg.  When this congregation, already meeting in 1740 and probably organized in that year, erected its first meetinghouse of logs in 1747, the plot of ground designated for burials was already being used as a graveyard.  Although the earliest marked grave is 1746, it is likely that it was used as a burial ground even before 1740.  By 1738 many Presbyterians from Northern Ireland and Scotland had settled in the Marsh Creek area and indeed, the early burial site may have influenced the selection of a building site for the church.

Used until 1870

“After the Upper Marsh Creek Presbyterian conger – ing {it appears some words were missing from the article} from its site beside the graveyard to Gettysburg in 1813 and even after it had established a burial ground by its new building on Washington and Railroad Sts., the congregation retained the burial ground in the country, and members of the congregation continued to be buried in the original graveyard.  Many markers bear dates in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  Few graves date since 1856, but as late as 1870 the graveyard was still used as a burial ground.

“Restoration and upkeep of the cemetery was voted at a congregational meeting in 1966.

“Since that time the board of trustees has contracted to have trees and brush removed, the ground leveled, and headstones reset.  They also provided parking space between the road and the burial ground and had concrete steps placed on the bank from the parking area to the cemetery.  Because the major concern of the trustees through the years has been the fencing of the old graveyard, it is appropriate that the trustees in 1968 also had a new fence erected at the front of the graveyard.

The rededication service on Sunday will be conducted by the pastor, Rev. Dr. R.A. MacAskill.  Dr. Setwart will speak on research and interesting developments of the cemetery through the years.  Dr. Charles Glatfelter of the history department of Gettysburg College and an officer of the Adams County Historical Society, will deliver appropriate remarks.

The Adams County Commissioners have supplied flags and markers for Revolutionary and War of 1812 veteran’s graves for Memorial Day commemoration.  The church invites all interested person to the service.  In case of rain the date will be Sunday, June 2.

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