This historic cemetery was all but forgotten. For several decades the site was nearly inaccessible. The dense overgrowth, a small stream prone to flooding, and the lack of a visible presence, challenge those that wish to visit the place. Beginning in 2009, The Schwenkfelder Church made a tremendous effort to improve access to the site. A wide path nearly 200 yards long was created by clearing the underbrush and spreading crushed stone. Large pipes were placed in the stream to permit crossing for visitors, workers, and equipment. In 2010 a big storm flooded the area, washing out the stream crossing. The crossing was rebuilt with larger pipes and has been working beautifully. The church has spent nearly $10,000 for this work so far and will continue to work hard maintaining access to the cemetery.
In 2012, a committee formed to preserve the cemetery. Jerry Heebner, Liz Jarvis, and Jack Yeakel started the effort to preserve the cemetery by seeking the advice of preservationists, historians, and cemetery experts. Working with a professional conservator, they created a preservation plan that addresses the needs of the cemetery. The committee secured bids from many trades people eager to help with the project and selected the best candidates for the job. The preservation work will cost $72,000.
The committee began to focus on public awareness and fundraising. They tested the waters with cemetery tours and a lecture series. They also organized a volunteer force to clear the collapsed portion of the wall, saving the project a thousand dollars. The Schwenkfelder Church will manage a fund for the project. Using their non-profit status, they spare the committee the costs of establishing their own organization. The church will provide donors with receipts and submit regular statements of the account. The committee is planning their fund-raising programs and have already received a very generous $8500 donation from Bowman Properties of Chestnut Hill.
This is just the beginning. Much more work is needed to ensure the long-term preservation of this important site. Please help by making a contribution. Visit this page often to check our progress. You can click the follow button to receive updates and feel free to leave a comment.