BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2009-06 > 1244903588
From: winter dellenbach <>
Subject: [BRE] cemetery upkeep
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 07:33:08 -0700
I know of 2 cemeteries in Frederick Co. MD (Harshman family, now on
private farms) and 1 in Lancaster Co. PA (Kemper Cemetery - John of
Ephrata Landis, Margarethe Naas and others) that are being lost. Of
these 3, it is the Kemper Cem. could be the most doable project for a
group of people to save. If I lived near there (rather than CA), I
would take it on. I write the following with the hope that someone
will see it and consider it as a project to take on. I can look up the
street it is on - it is near Ephrata.
The reason the Kemper Cem. is ripe for saving is that:
-It is an important early cemetery. Many or all the stones are in
German. The cemetery is mentioned in historical and gen. texts, yet it
is "lost" due to grass turf growing over the stones. Photos of some of
the stones are in books and articles (Bittinger and others).
-By now all the stones must be covered. The owner lives next door and
does nothing. The ground is not overgrown but for neatly mowed grass
on the level.
-It is easily accessible - adjacent to a pleasant town street with no
fencing and easy to find with adjacent parking. It appears to be a
lawn under with a few shade trees around the edges of the space. Very
nice to work in.
-The stones I saw were intact, with large flat stones on the ground
-There is a list of burials - available at the Ephrata Historical Soc.
-The task would be to cut the turf "mat" off each flat stone. I saw
this being done in England by an older woman who lived across the
street from the village churchyard. She located the stones by gently
jabbing a narrow steel rod into the turf till she contacted a flat
stone (having a list of burials would help know how may one was
looking for). Then she used an exacto knife to simple cut around the
edge of the stone. The turf would lift off the stone in one peice -
like turning back a bedspread on a bed. The amazing thing is that the
inscription carved into the stone was perfectly "embossed" on the
underside of the turf mat just removed. The woman doing this work said
she enjoyed it, doing 1 or 2 stones at a time.