Union Cemetery
Photo added by db

Union Cemetery

Also known as Bellefonte City Cemetery

Bellefonte, Centre County , Pennsylvania, USA


  • Get directions Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Cemetery ID: 46531

The first Bellefonte cemetery, which contained 4 or 5 acres, operated from about 1796 to the early 1800s and was located in the vicinity of the homes at 237 and 239 West Linn Ave. It is said that the first burial in that cemetery was for Colonel John Boggs, a veteran of the American Revolution who died in 1796. His remains and those of others were moved to the new cemetery. No grave marker exists today to make the resting place of Colonel Boggs.

By 1806 James Harris and James Dunlop had set aside the "Bellefonte Grave-yard" located about halfway up the hill southeast of the Gatehouse. In 1856 an addition 4 to 5 acre plot was added.

There are two theories as to how it got its name. One is that about six men united their lands to make the large cemetery. Another suggestion for the name is the number of Union Soldiers buried in the Bellefonte Cemetery.

In the years after the Civil War the cemetery continued to expand and in 1908 the cemetery first considered the concept of perpetual care, which it was hoped would improve the conditions on the cemetery grounds. The currently size of the cemetery is 19.6 acres.

Bellefonte Union Cemetery was racially integrated over 100 years ago, which was contrary to the policies followed by many other cemeteries until recent times. The first burial was in April 1806for Dr. William Harris for whom no marker exists.

There are three governors of Pennsylvania buried here along with their wives: Andrew Gregg Curtin, governor from 1861-1867; James Addams Beaver governor from 1887-1891 and Daniel Hartman Hastings governor from 1895- 1899. Other notables in the cemetery include Lt Col. James Dunlop and James Harris, co-founders of Bellefonte; Dr Evan Pugh, the first president of the Farmer's High School ( later named Penn State University); the Rev James Linn, pastor of Bellefonte Presbyterian for 58 years; George Harris, a winner of the Congressional Metal of Honor in the Civil War; Anna Wagner Keichline, the first female architect; Andrew Gregg, a United States Senator and president pro-tem of the U. S. Senate; George James Irvin, who donated the land for Farmer's High school; and Hugh N. McAllister, a prime mover in the founding of Penn State.

Noteworthy Features

The Barre Granite Fountain was placed in 1954 to honor the Bellefonte founder, James Dunlop by his great, great grandaughter, Anna McCoy

The Soldier's Circle, a ring of graves fenced by a semicircular wall holding the remains of Civil War veterans and funded by the Grand Army of the Republic. The wall was placed in 1908, with concrete work being done by the Bellefonte Lumber Company.

A third feature is Babyland, dating from before the 1940s. It is believed to contain over 100 graves, mostly of them unmarked. In the late 1990s and early in the 21s century, this area was remodeled and beautified by local firms donations of materials and equipment and designed by Ray Masters. Unfortunately, during the remodeling the temporary metal markers that stood at the sites of many of the infant graves were removed. This inventory includes those missing markers, which are indicated with an [X] after their inscriptions.

The last feature is a Gatehouse which was built in 1859 for $910.00. The style is Gothic Revival and was used by the cemetery superintendent. In 1915 a Bell telephone was installed. In 1921 an indoor bathroom was added. In 1947 steamed heat was added. Eventually the house ceased to be used by superintendents and fell into disrepair. In 1986 it was sold to Raymond Gannon, who spent considerable time and money in its restoration to the beautiful home.



  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Cemetery ID: 46531