Mount Moriah Cemetery

Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Mount Moriah Cemetery was established by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1855, one of several rural cemeteries developed in Philadelphia between 1845 and 1860. Located on the southwestern edge of the city, the private cemetery originally consisted of 54 acres. Over time it has grown to a rumored 380 acres but now consists of an estimated 150 acres spanning both sides of Cobbs Creek. A majestic gatehouse once provided entrance into to the cemetery but is now threatening to fully collapse and be lost to time. Designed by local architect Stephen D. Button in 1855, the Romanesque gatehouse is fabricated from a brownstone facade. Notable headstones in the cemetery include a granite marker constructed in the shape of the Civil War iron-clad ship, the USS Monitor. The headstone memorializes William Rowland, a sailor on the USS Minnesota, which was protected by the Monitor from the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) at the Battle of Hampton Roads. Mount Moriah Cemetery is the second burial site of Betsy Ross, reputed maker of the American flag. I 1975 her remains were rumored to have been moved to Arch Street near the Betsy Ross house but recently discovered documentation has proven that her bones had deteriorated prior and therefore unable to be removed . In the early 1870's, an African-American woman purchase a lot to bury her African-American husband, Henry Jones in the cemetery. After a petition consisting of lot holder signatures was submitted to the cemetery board of managers to deny his burial based on his race, the cemetery authorities turned away his funeral procession. A lawsuit was filed against the Mount Moriah Cemetery association on his behalf, and in 1876 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jones' right to burial in the cemetery. Unbeknownst to the lot holders, there were African-Americans already buried there prior to the Henry Jones incident. Mount Moriah Naval Plot was purchased by the U.S. Naval Asylum. The Naval Hospitals Act of 1811, passed through Congress with the help of Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, established the U.S. Naval Asylum in Philadelphia. Architect William Strickland designed the main building, which was completed in 1833. Originally used as a naval hospital, in 1838 midshipmen began taking classes at the asylum.\nWith the 1845 opening of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the asylum ceased serving as a school. In 1864 the federal government purchased a 10-acre site in Mount Moriah Cemetery for the re-interment of remains within the plot on the grounds of the Naval Asylum. More than 2,400 navy officers and sailors have been buried in Mount Moriah Naval Plot since the first interment on March 26, 1865. This lot is bordered by a low fence of chain-and-bollards, and contains many very old, non-standard headstones, as well as a naval anchor on a concrete base.\nThe National Cemetery Administration has jurisdiction over this section of the cemetery as well as the Soldiers\' Lot. Old and historic. Neglected for years. Friends of Mt. Moriah trying to restore it. All information found on this page is incorrect. The two Galloway brothers listed hear are Medal of Honor Recipients that can be found in Section 149 of Mount Moriah on the Yeadon side. Although the VA does own and care both the Naval Asylum and the Soldier's Rest (or as this page has it lists, soldier's lot) the records were kept and maintained by the cemetery association. For factual information you can contact the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, a non-profit organization who is leading the mission to preserve the cemetery and the records.)
Mount Moriah Cemetery, Created by Hudson4866, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States