The Bear Gap Friends Meeting was an Indulged Meeting belonging to the Fishing Creek Half-Yearly Meeting in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Hicksite Friends. It was first established in 1840 as the Shamokin Friends Meeting.
The name was changed from Shamokin to Bear Gap in 1884-85. In 1886 a visiting minister described the Meeting as having "an old deserted school house on the grounds. It was the place of meeting before the log meeting-house was built; a graveyard is enclosed, but the meeting-house s in a grove and pleasantly situated."
In 1896 it was reported in the Friends' Intelligencer that the house was "in good condition, though seldom used, as the meeting is held at the house of William U. John."
In 1932 it was stated simply, "The Meeting is forever closed." The shutters were closed, the doors locked, the entrance steps crumbling and the weather boards eaten by insects. In front stood a large oak, but on either side were two lifeless chestnut trees.
The site was described as "a pretty spot, although somewhat run wild. On April 29, 1932, orders were given to have the Meeting House demolished.
In the following years the cemetery was allowed to be overgrown. Many grave sites collapsed. In the late 1990's a group of students from Southern Columbia High School cleaned and restored the site to its present state. While some grave markers are lost or beyond readability, the site is free of undergrowth and in a grove of trees overlooking the valley and mountains described by previous visitors.
~ Hank Deemer
- Added: 22 Feb 2008
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2250690
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