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Clearfield County Historical Society with assistance from the Clearfield County Commissioners and other volunteers recently erected a new sign at the County Home Cemetery after spending years restoring it. Pictured from left are Vegetation Manager Jim Davis, Clearfield County Historical Society booard members Denny Shaffner, Bob Eshelman, Scott Kolesar and Chris Watson, volunteer Milk Miller, Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel, and Clearfield County Historical Society board member Cathie Hughes.
One of the ongoing projects of the Clearfield County Historical Society board members and volunteers is documenting abandoned and forgotten burial grounds.
In 2010, the society investigated the location of the old County Home Cemetery in Lawrence Township located across the railroad tracks about 1,600 feet behind the former county home.
What the society found was an approximately one-acre piece of ground completely overgrown with brush and small trees with remnants of locust fence posts and barbed wire along one side. Although there are hundreds of graves, the society found only four tombstones.
The County Home opened in December 1895 and housed as many as 140 people in 1917, and 131 resided there in 1925. Burials started soon after opening, and the last burial was in 1951. According to one newspaper article published in 1901, there were 108 burials to-date.
And from a Clearfield Progress article in 1926, “All graves filled in and the entire 360 graves fixed up, and for the first time the name and date of death on each person buried therein appears on a tile and slate marker at the head of each grave.”
The society found no tile markers in the cemetery. However, piles of tiles were found at the edge of the area. The name and dates must have been painted on them as they contained no information. They were probably removed at some point to make it easier to mow. These tiles could have possibly come from neighboring Robinson Clay Works, c1915-1965.
CCHS, with support from the Clearfield County Commissioners, began a many-years project of restoring the cemetery.
Brush and trees were defoliated and cut. This was done with the assistance of board members, many community volunteers and Jim Davis of Vegetation Managers.
Although there is no public access to the site, the society was granted access for the project from the Clearfield Waste Water Treatment Plant.
After extensive research using decades of aerial maps, newspaper articles, courthouse records and researching books and files at the Alexander Research Center, the society has determined this small area contains almost 500 graves.
Only five of the graves are marked with tombstones.
Four of the stones were found during the initial investigation in 2010, and one was found in 2018 during the restoration.
While there are hundreds laid to rest here, the society has only 171 names of known persons.
A permanent sign has been installed, using posts from the County Home, with the name of the cemetery on one side and a list of the 171 people on the other.
Kerr Museum & our Research Center are closed for the Season....
We will return starting Sunday, May 3, 2020!
We are a 40 member volunteer organization.
Clearfield County Historical Society
511 Van Valzah Ave.
Clearfield, PA 16830
Phone: 814-768-7318 for a brief recording...
1. 'KERR HOUSE' MUSEUM
104 E. Pine St,
Clearfield, Pa 16830
2. 'WILLIAM B. ALEXANDER V' GENELOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER:
511 Van Valzah Ave.
Clearfield, PA 16830
3. 'BLOODY KNOX' Cabin Museum:
6246 Curwensville - Tyrone Hwy.
Olanta, PA 16863
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