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New construction will shadow historic Chestnut Hill Baptist Church cemetery

Neighbor of chestnut hill baptist church cemetery

Chestnut hill baptist church and graveyardA man who lives in the house alongside the historic cemetery behind the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church regularly clears the flat and worn gravestones of leaves and other debris.

He gave your correspondent and buddy an impromptu tour. Pointing out different graves, “He was at Gettysburg. The fella over here was at the battle of Little Round Top. You can see it by the 20th Volunteers Main. The 20th Main was the line Chamberlain and his men did that right handed [ ] like a swinging door move to stop the Confederates from getting the hill; it won the day....This gentleman here is a veteran of the War of 1812.” He pointed out headstones for the Sands family which he believes was prominent in the early days of the church.

Some of the graves are partially grown over with grass and there may be others that are totally covered over. See photo album here.

The man says the cemetery is a kind of common ground for the neighborhood. People come through, some walk their dogs, children play. Referring to imminent construction of an apartment complex on the former Sunoco site, adjacent, “They’re going to block it out when they put this building up… I think it’s five stories. It’s a pity, huh? " See article about the new construction here.

More information about the history of the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church can be found on the church’s website here The Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s archives are rich with historical information. According to notes attached to a 1945 photo of J.S Jenks school students, children attending Christian Youth Brigade meetings at the church would play in the graveyard. The Conservancy also houses an 86-page, 1898 book by Robert Milville Hunsicker, “Chestnut Hill Baptist Church 1834-1897 Glimpses of Sixty-three Years” and a 2001 publication “ Tombstone inscriptions at two Chestnut Hill church cemeteries: Chestnut Hill Baptist and Chestnut Hill Methodist” by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania listing the churches gravestone inscriptions.  Watch video interview about historic Chestnut Hill Baptist Church cemetery here. A list of those interred follows

"Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery:
South side, front to rear:
Ann Patterson, consort of the Rev. James Patterson, died August 21, 1841, aged 76 years, 6 months.
Emily S. Patterson, his second consort, born July 23 1812, died November 10, 1848.
Eliza Knous, wife of Charles Knows, died March 18, 1839, aged 40 years, 11 months, 24 days.
? Sands, Seventh Pennsylvania Reserves
Charles Thomas, died March 8, 1844, aged 54 years, 9 months, 15 days.
Hannah, wife of Charles Thomas, died January 15, 1842, aged 56 years, 19 days
Janet, daughter of Charles and Hannah Thomas, died February 1847, aged 16 years, 1 month 22 days.
Harriet W. Hallowell - Mother - 1821-1847
John D. Thomas, 1812-1851 - Father
Catherine Thomas, 1814-1904 - Mother
Elen Jane, daughter of John and Catharine Thomas, died June 26, 1849, aged 6 years, 8 months. Matilda. infant daughter
Richard Rettner, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry
Ann Dubree, died October 16, 1848, aged 53 years, 3 months, 4 days
Elizabeth, daughter of Homer and Ann Dubree, died November 21,1843, aged 23 years, 4 months, 15 days
Ann Layre, died October 1, 1849, aged 64 years, 9 months, 7days
Sarah Huston, born December 23, 1815, died March 31, 1878
William Ambers, son of John and Mary A. Ambers, born September 6, 1872, in his 27th year
Matilda Louise Ambers, dau. of John and Mary Ambers, died March 20, 1849, aged 4 years, 23 days, also Mary Elizabeth Ambers, aged 9 years, 10 mos.
William Hart, born December 25, 1787, died November 16, 1862
Ann, wife of Willam Hart, born November 15, 1795; died ------- 1845
William Hartranft, died November 16, 1850, aged 47 years, 5 months, 4 days
Margaret, wife of William Hartranft, born September 25, 1803, died March 6, 1870
Reuben, son of William and Margaret Hartranft, born June 21, 1838, died April 5, 1881
Richard Hudson, died December 10, 1851, aged 35 years
William Graham, died August 9, 1856, aged 22 years
Henrietta Graham, daughter of William Graham, died February 8, 1856, aged 4 years
Charles Wise, born October 16, 1800, died October ------, 1844
Elizabeth, dau. of Michael and Elizabeth Jacoby, died October 18, 1852, aged 84 years
William Augustus, son of George Huston, 1850-1851
George H. Hergesheimer, born September 3, 1816, died March 15, 1865
Sophonisba S., wife of George H. Hergesheimer, died February 5, 1883, aged 60 years,
7 months, 12 days
Matilda Huey, died August 23, 1883, aged 22 years
John K., son of S. and S. Y. Anson, born March 16, 1854, died October 11, 1854
Warren K., son do., 1869-1871 [b. May 3, 1869,d. July 8, 1871]
North Marple, born December 2, 1811, died May 15, 1884
Ellen, wife of Levi Hey and dau. of John and Hannah Anson, born December 14, 1835, died February 13, 1864
John Deacon Anson, born January 23, 1798, died September 6, 1872
Hannah, wife of John Anson, born May 1, 1803, died August 15, 1867
John Lincoln Anson, son of William and Sarah L. Anson, born January 14, 1865, died September 17, 1865
Charlie Sands, son of James and Amelia Anson, born June 22, 1873, died August 23, 1875

North side, rear to front:
Eliza, wife of Samuel Watson, a native of Wiveliscomb, Somersetshire, England, died July 19, 1860, aged 59 years, 6 months
Eliza P., wife of Thomas E. Woodruff, born January 13, 1840; [died] in her 44th year.
George Freas, born December 8, 1780, died February 5, 1859
Elizabeth, wife of George Freas, died May 15, 1855, aged 60 years, 1 month, 11 days
Rebecca D. Ambler, wife of William Graver, born April 26, 1860, died September, 30, 1895
Horatio G. Grant, died February 25, 1852, aged 73 years, 5 months, 16 days
Abner Cambel, died August 3, 1847, aged 62 years, 3 months, 9 days
Peter Felty, born April 2, 1794, died June 20, 1878. A soldier of the War of 1812.
Henry C. Emery, died June 2, 1899, aged 68 years. Served in the 20th Maine Vols. in the Civil War.
Sarah Emery, 1827-1915
Benjamin Mattis, born March 14, 1790, died July 3, 1872
Hannah, wife of Benjamin Mattis, died April 20, 1849, in her 61st year
Peter Cambel, born December 28, 1811, died February 9, 1891
Margaret, wife of Peter Cambel, died October2, 1853, aged 36 years, 1 month, 27 days
Emma, wife of Peter Cambel, died August 26, 1868, in her 26th year
Charles Harshaw, born March 14, 1845, died June 26, 1889. Served in the 29th Pa. Vols. in the Civil War
Emma E. dau. of Titus and Ellen Shermer, born June 27, 1844, died March 21, 1862
Howard M. Sands, Anderson Cavalry, died in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 1863, from disease contracted in the service. son of Reuben and Catharine Sands
Constantine B. Sands, son of Reuben and Catharine Sands, died October 6, 1874
Wilfred a., son of Reuben and Catharine Sands, died August 14, 1876
Lewis H. Sands, son of Ezra and Ellen Sands, drowned January 30, 1849, aged 22 years, 5 months, 17 days
Mary W., wife of Isaac Post, born April 3, 1766, died March 27, 1842
Dea. Ezra Sands, on e of the founders and first deacons of this church, born March 7, 1786, died May 15, 1869
Ezra Sands, born January 6, 1813, died May 24, 1893
Juliann Sands, born December 19, 1813, died December 3, 1882
Mary, wife of George Rush, born Ma----, 17 90, died May 25, 1866
Malvina, wife of Charles Crossley [1847]
Catharine Emma, dau. of John and Mary Gregg, born July 15, 1842, died June 27, 1847"