|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
This Cemetery is known, in this area, by two other names: The Colored Cemetery or the Enty (Family) Cemetery. It is, in the woods, overlooking the Allegheny River and is located on the edge of a steep hill, at the end of Bell Town Road, in Templeton, PA. The map depiction, below, is slightly off...It shows Belltown Road out of place. The map marker is on the correct location and it is at the very end of Belltown Road. (Do not drive all the way to the cemetery if there is snow or ice...the hillside is very steep.)
So I am told, by most all of the locals, whom I interviewed, in Sept. 2009, that this cemetery was the only place, in this area, for the Black Families of the day to be buried. (SEE ALSO, the write up and grave of "Unknown Colored Man" in the Shaeffer Cemetery, in Armstrong County, PA.) I feel this practice is abhorrent...But it was the custom of the day and we can hope the lessons have been learned and this type of thing never occurs again. All of the Residents, whom I interviewed, readily agreed that this segregation practice was wrong and expressed sympathy that it could have happened. Most all of them knew this place only as the "Colored Cemetery" and that is the only name they were ever told. The Postmaster, however, told me it was also known as the Bell Town Road Cemetery and another, somewhat elderly, resident, who lives over the hill a ways and close to the nearby Stewardson Furnace Cemetery, told me he often heard it referred to as the "Enty (Family) Cemetery," since that is the name of so many of the cemetery residents.
The cemetery was in very poor condition the day I visited (8 Sept. 2009) and I am sure there are probably a few markers, which were under the weeds, which I have missed photographing. There were a good number of unmarked grave indentations and also several of the field stone type markers and almost all of these field stones were unmarked, in any way.
And now (Nov. 2009) comes a wonderfully informative letter, from DONNA SHEAFFER, to further illuminate this history:
When you look at the obits, I sent you, you'll see that Eliz. Hamlett burial says Wesleyen Methodist Cemetery. That is the same cemetery as the Belltown Cemetery. It is the real name as it is named after the church that the black community started in 1864. They were the first people to start a church in Templeton. The next one was the Church of God started in 1870. They purchased land from the Cochran family that year and that's when the Cochran Cemetery was started. I think there were a few burials before the church bought the land, but not many.
There was another Wesleyen Methodist Church in Templeton, but it wasn't started till 1921 and it goes by the Zion Wesleyen Methodist Church. I'm so glad you put the cemetery on Find A Grave. The last time I was there was in 2008, it was in terrible shape. You may not believe this, but I was born and raised in Templeton and was never in that cemetery until I was an adult. My mother used to tell me about the revival meetings and hymn sings the black community had at the church and it was packed with both black & white. That would have been in the 30s. Again, thanks a lot for all the work you've done.
(Donna Sheaffer Findagrave member #46777676)
P.S. The original Wesleyen Methodist Church was still standing in 1974, but it has been torn down. It sat to the right when you make the left turn to go up to Belltown.
This cemetery may prove to be difficult for some to find but I'll give it a go here:
From "Downtown" Templeton, at the Post Office on the main street, drive NORTH, out of town on State Route 1031. (Allegheny Ave) As you exit the town, there will be a 90 Degree bend to the right and also the intersection of the "New" Mahoning Road, to the left. At this point, you will also see the Church and Parking Lot, which is just past this intersection. Pass the left turn and the Church parking lot and then turn left onto the "Old Mahoning Road" just as you have passed the Church parking lot…and after this turn, the church will now be on your left. Drive up the hill and bear to the right as you drive up this very steep hill and continue bearing right until it appears that you will drive into a person's yard, straight ahead. At this point, the "tiny" Bell Town Road turns 90 degrees left. Turn onto this road and continue for a couple hundred yards to the end. The hillside, to your left, as you approach the cemetery, is very steep and there is not much room to turn around, at the end of the road, so pay heed to the weather and road conditions and proceed cautiously. The cemetery is on the hillside to the right, at the end of this road.