|9th Street and Bainbridge Streets (former location)|
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
In 1950 all but a few of the interments in this cemetery were moved to Forest Hills Memorial Park.
The Press – Philadelphia; Saturday, August 8, 1857, Page 1:
This Cemetery was established in the year 1827, thirty years ago, by the late James Ronaldson, the first type founder in America, he having settled in the United States in the year 1794. It was about the beginning of the present century that Mr. Ronaldson first conceived the idea of establishing a respectable place for the interment of persons whose circumstances did not admit of their incurring the high charges usually made for interments in grounds belonging to churches and that they might avoid the necessity of being buried in the public grounds, where the expense is small, but the hazard of being removed very considerable. With these views, Mr. Ronaldson was induced to purchase from the executors of the late Mr. Bleakley, the lot of ground on Shippen (now present-day Bainbridge) street, between Ninth and Tenth streets, now the Cemetery, and appropriate it to the present purpose. He had suitable buildings erected, and the grounds enclosed and laid out in lots of eight by ten feet, fixing the price of each lot at $26 to $30.
The success of Mr. Ronaldson's plan was for several years doubtful, as some of the neighbors were hostile to such an establishment, apprehending it would become a nuisance; others were backward in countenancing the project, from an idea that it was an infringement on the rights and emoluments of the churches, and that the ground was not properly consecrated; even some of the gentlemen of the clergy expressed an unkind disposition on the subject, and declared their intention of refraining from officiating at funeral in this Cemetery. The Rev. Mr. Chambers was the first clergyman that ventured to officiate at a funeral in this ground. Happily for society, the humane views of the projector were carried out, and his endeavors succeeded in dispelling these prejudices. Any person, of whatever religious persuasion, may now have his own freehold estate in the ground, consecrated and blessed in any manner of faith, consistent with his belief in a God, without any hindrances or unkind feelings.
Mr. James Ronaldson, the founder, died on the 26th of March, 1841, at the age of seventy-three. He was buried in the Cemetery which his benevolence established. Mr. Richard Ronaldson, who still survives his brother, soon after the death of his brother, very generously gave to the Managers of the Cemetery eighty-eight lots on the west side of the Cemetery, a portion of which had been used for the burial of strangers. These lots have been a source of considerable revenue to the Managers, and have rendered it unnecessary to levy on the lot-holders any assessments for many years. About 10,000 persons are buried in this Cemetery.
John Mercer has been for many years the caretaker and attentive superintendent of this Cemetery. He resides in the house erected by Mr. Ronaldson.
The rates of interment for funerals are the same as those originally established by the founder, and are two dollars and fifty cents for digging the grave of a grown person, and two dollars for the grave of a child. No assessment of more than fifty cents for one year can be laid by the managers. The lot-holders have also power to levy an assessment of fifty cents only a year. So that no lot-holder can be taxed more than one dollar a year. There are about one thousand lot-holders.
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