All Saints Evening planned by Pennsville Mennonite Cemetery
The Pennsville Mennonite Cemetery will observe an All Saints Evening on Tuesday, which is also known as the Day of the Dead.
The celebration will start at 6:30 p.m.
Every other year since the Scottdale Mennonite Church took ownership of the cemetery, a picnic or celebration has taken place at the site, said Levi Miller, one of the caretakers of the property. This year, there will be a bonfire (weather permitting). Cider and donuts will be provided.
“Neighbors and families with historic ties to the cemetery are especially invited, and people may wish to place candles with the graves,” said Miller.
The cemetery is also called the Alte Menist (old Mennonite) cemetery and is located on Mt. East Street (from Everson), about a half mile beyond Upper Tyrone Township Municipal Building and is administered by a committee made up of James Lederach, Maynard Brubacher, and Miller.
Miller said Pennsville Mennonite Cemetery has been a burial ground of Mennonites since they arrived in the Jacobs Creek Valley in the late 18th century.
“In 1791 John Shallenberger from Lancaster County, bought 426 acres of land in what is now Upper Tyrone Township and included the present site of Pennsville and extended westward up the hill for about a mile,” Miller said. “Two years later, in 1793, Shallenberger died, and the exact site of his burial is unknown. It was probably at the west end of his farm, near the present site of the cemetery. ”
He added that Abraham Stauffer and Joseph Sherrick, both preachers, bought land north of Shallenberger. The first marked burial in the cemetery was Sherrick who died in 1811; his wife Anna Musser is buried beside him. The stones of his son, Christian and unmarried daughter, Catherine, are also found in the cemetery.
Stauffer, the first resident Mennonite minister who died in 1826 and his wife, Anna Nissley are also buried at the site.
Miller said that during the 20th century, locals often referred to the burial grounds as the Alte Menist Cemetery, the old Mennonite Cemetery and in 1990 Lederach, an attorney, arranged for the Scottdale Mennonite Church to take ownership of the property.
“An attempt has been made to nurture the simplicity and quietness of its historic 19th century origins,” said Miller. A memorial stone was erected at the front corner of the cemetery in 1992.
He added that local resident Winifred Paul of Scottdale researched all of the Scottdale Mennonite family history.
More than 700 lots are still available to purchase. The cost is $300 per lot if purchased before death and $400 if purchased at time of death. Plot maps are available from Brubacher at 724-887-8030, Brubacher Enterprises of West Overton at 724-640-4181 or Lederach at 724-887-3600 or [email protected]
The interment of cremains can be made in an urn or other receptacle on a lot at the Pennsville Mennonite Cemetery. The cremains of several persons may be interred on one plot, as long as appropriate identification is made on a marker to designate the burial.