3424 Beechwood Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
In the middle of a busy block on Beechwood Blvd in the Squirel Hill/Greenfield area of Pittsburgh sits Turner Graveyard. It is less than a half acre, but its history far outweighs its size. It is the second oldest cemetery in Pittsburgh and maybe the third oldest in Alleghey County, dating back to 1785.
Turner Graveyard is named after John Turner, a wealthy farmer who deeded the land to the local community in 1838, two years before he died at aged 85. The graveyard was originally the Turner family burial plot.
The cemetery is located next to the Mary S Brown-Ames United Methodist Church. The church, the most recent of a series of Methodist churches built on or near the site, does not own the graveyard, although it maintains it. Mary S Brown-Ames Methodist Church was dedicated in 1909.
The first burial in the graveyard is believed to be that of John Turner's mother, Mary Newton Girty Turner, who died in 1785. However, the first proven burial, is that of Mrs. William Craig in 1804. The oldest tombstone in the graveyard is that of Nancy Reading, who was buried in 1816.
About 62 headstones are still standing, but most are broken or leaning. The graveyard holds the remains of about 54 people, many of them members of local pioneer families. An exact count can't be made becaue some of the burials were moved to other cemeteries through the years. The last recorded burial was in 1883.
The graveyard holds the remains of 6 veterans of 4 wars: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-
American War and the Civil War.
None of the people buried in Turner Graveyard are well known. However, the median age of the people buried at the graveyard is interesting. The average age is 65, the oldest being 85 years adn the youngest 7 years.
The graveyard is in need of restoration. Many of the older tombstones have weathered and are unreadible. Others are cracked, broken or buried.
The wrought iron fence around the graveyard was recently painted a bright red as an identifying feature of the Mary S Brown-Ames Church. "We're the church with the bright red fence!" is part of the church's campaign to reach out to the community.
-- Information taken from the Turner Cemetery Tour Committee's handout, dated Oct 24, 2009.
GPS Coordinates: 40.4208, -79.9265
- Added: 25 Nov 2008
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2284076
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