Thursday, March 20, 2008

Garrison's Cemetery / Moore's Cemetery - Luzerne County

Views of Garrison's Cemetery, aka Moore's Cemetery, located in
Salem Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

The following is a 'Letter to the Editor' by Mrs. Julia E. Folk. I have this cut from the newspaper, but the date and newspaper were not recorded. I believe the newspaper was the Berwick Enterprise. The Berwick Enterprise later merged with the Bloomsburg paper to become the Press Enterprise.

"Dear Editor:

Many, many people have asked why the cemetery at Moore's Hill is called "Garrison Memorial." It's natural to call it by that name since Mathias Garrison gave the grounds for the church, a schoolhouse, and a cemetery.

Some people have asked why the name has been changed.

It never has been as far back in history as anyone can remember. It seems as though Mr. Garrison was forgotten since he has been gone for quite some time. However, in the records of the late Jesse Keck it was called Garrison Memorial. He turned his records over in 1908 to the following men who served faithfully for 33years: Charles Harmon, Robert Hosler, and the late William Varner.

In 1963, these men resigned and turned their records over to a new group with these officers: Carl Hosler, president; Arthur Smith, secretary; Freas Martz, treasurer.

In 1964, these trustees were elected: William Varner, Berwick R.D.1, Robert Hosler and Lem Moore, both of Berwick.

In 1964 I was asked by Mrs. William Varner to solicit funds for a perpetual care fund for the cemetery. I take this opportunity to thank the people for their faith and trust in me. Although the fund is not completed, it is steadily growing.

Carl Hosler has drawn up a plan of the cemetery and help is needed in filling in names.

I have no record of when a Mr. Keck gave the adjoining plot of ground to enlarge the cemetery. If anyone has any knowledge of this transaction we would appreciate knowing about it since it would help to keep our records in good order.

The Boy Scouts of Bethany EUB Church are painting the cemetery fence as a summer project and a donation will be given them.

Carl Hosler keeps the ground outside of the fence mowed and we owe him many thanks.

Many thanks are also due the James Switzer family. They keep the cemetery mowed and trimmed. The association pays for the mowing but the cleaning and trimming are gratis.

In closing, I'd like to quote a statement made by Robert Hosler to a man who didn't wish to contribute to the fund: "It doesn't matter if you do or do not since your ancestors' graves will be kept up as the cemetery is cleaned from corner to corner, regardless."

Sincerely, Mrs. Julia E. Folk, Berwick RD1."

"P.S.: Here's a brief sketch on the role Mathias Garrison played in the establishment of the cemetery: In the early 1800's, Mathias Garrison, along with brothers and brothers-in-law, moved from the state of New Jersey and settled not far from Berwick. Mathias purchased a large timber tract about two miles north of Berwick and constructed a log house in the woods for himself and his family. Being a Methodist, he found no church of his choice within reach so he opened his house as a preaching place for the circuit riders of the Evangelical Church and the Methodist Church. Mathias Garrison was the father of 17 children (by two wives) and had an earnest desire to provide every possible means for his children's education and religious upbringing. This ambition led him to deed a large tract of land along the public road for a church, a schoolhouse and a cemetery. The Evangelicals built the church, the township school board built the school and the people of that area began to use the graveyard as the resting place for their departed loved ones."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the history. My family is here... I look fwd to visiting this summer and adding more of Garrison Cemetery interments to to help in the genealogy effort.