"The Old Graveyard" is composed of town lots number 76 & 77, each a half acre in area. On January 17, 1799 they were sold by Lewis Stephens, Jr. to thirteen Trustees. The deed read, "in behalf of the freeholders of the Town of Stephensburg." Both lots sold for the sum of 5 shillings and were described as being commonly called the graveyard and schoolhouse lots.
Inez Virginia Steele wrote in 1906: "The dust of the first settlers rests in the graveyard, but being generally marked by common limestone rocks, their graves are not distinguishable." The Stephens family plot is in the southwest corner, adjacent to Mulberry Street. South of these graves is the older part of the cemetery.
The first house of worship in "Stephensburg" was built in the northwest corner of the cemetery. Pastor Rueben Funk wrote in 1850 "this old log church ... was a homely structure with plain board pews and a common floor." Miss Steele further describes this structure as "the old schoolhouse, which stood on the northwest corner, having three windows looking east, west and south; they were about six feet wide and three feet high and were protected by board shutters. When light was required, these were propped up as high as possible by wooden sticks or pins. It was sometimes called the East Academy."
For many years, the cemetery was used as a pasture for cattle to graze. A few years ago a local boy scout working on his Eagle badge erected a fence which helps protect the property. While the grounds are well kept, the years have not been kind to the headstones. Many are broken, chipped, or leaning against a large tree in the middle of the lot.
GPS Coordinates: 39.0815, -78.2184
- Added: 7 Sep 2005
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2152963
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