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Local cemeteries honor heroes who served our country

November 14, 2018

The upcoming Veterans Day celebrations give us a chance to pause, honor and reflect on our local history and remember the families and those who made the ultimate sacrifice who are interred at cemeteries throughout our communities.

Old St. Luke’s on Church Street in Scott is one of the oldest frontier churches west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1770, Maj. William Lea, a member of the French and Indian War expedition, received a grant of 335 acres of Chartiers Valley from King George. He promptly set aside a plot, 10 rods square, for a church and burial ground. His daughter, Jane Lea Nixon, was the first white child born in the valley. Lea and his descendants are buried at St. Luke’s, along with many other Revolutionary War veterans. There are about 95 graves there.

Also in Scott is the Ukrainian Cemetery on Lindsay Road, belonging to SS. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of Carnegie.

On Swallow Hill Road in Scott is Mt. Olivet/St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Cemetery and at 4090 Swallow Hill Road is St. Mary and St. Ignatius Cemetery. St. Joseph Cemetery is at 334 Torrence Ave., Scott. These cemeteries remain from the former parishes in Carnegie that now comprise St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Carnegie.

The land for Greentree Cemetery on Greentree Road was purchased in 1873 by the German United Evangelical Congregation in Temperanceville (now called the West End section of Pittsburgh).

Mt. Pisgah United Presbyterian Cemetery, aka Jennings, is on Warriors Road, straddling the line between Green Tree and the Westwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Chartiers Cemetery at 801 Noblestown Road, Carnegie, was established in 1861, when President Abraham Lincoln was in office. There is a Civil War memorial on the grounds, and many Civil War veterans rest there on 86 acres.

The Ross Colonial Cemetery, Library Avenue near Christy Avenue, Carnegie, operated from 1851-69, at which time the bodies were moved to Chartiers Cemetery, but the headstones remain.

Located in Collier Township is the former First German Evangelical Cemetery on John Drive and Noblestown Road. Also known as Bethany Cemetery, it is now overseen by St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Carnegie. All Saints Polish National Church of Carnegie has their cemetery on Ewing Road, Collier.

The former Woodville State Hospital, Collier, may be demolished, but its 692 numbered graves from 1867-1949 remain.

St. Barbara Roman Catholic Cemetery, Prestley Road, Bridgeville, is also in Collier. Its original one acre of land was purchased from Louis Lebo in December 1895. In May 1975, a 50-foot illuminated cross was erected at the top of the cemetery on additional property purchased two years earlier. The cross can be seen for miles in all directions.

Robinson Run Cemetery is on Robinson Run Road, South Fayette. The Robinson Run Presbyterian Church began there in 1790, with the latest version of the church being demolished by a big storm in 1902. A soldier’s monument is noticeable from the road, erected at the Old Hill Church (as the cemetery was known) in 1907 by the Lt. S.M. Adams Post No. 330 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Pennsylvania. There are 13 Revolutionary War veterans, 52 Civil War veterans, more than 200 WWI veterans, and many from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War buried here.

Melrose Cemetery on Washington Pike in South Fayette received its charter in 1884. A few blocks away on Washington Pike is St. Agatha Roman Catholic Cemetery, now overseen by Holy Child Parish of Bridgeville. St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cemetery is a block away on the same street.

Bethany Cemetery is on Presto-Sygan Road, South Fayette, at the site of the First Bethany Meeting House that was built in 1815. It still is owned and maintained by Bethany Presbyterian Church of Bridgeville and is bounded by an old stone wall.

Oakdale Cemetery, off Union Avenue in South Fayette, opened in 1892 and is the final resting place of the Rev. John Wilson McCleland, founder of the Boys’ Industrial Home of Western Pennsylvania which operated for nearly 70 years before closing in 1972 and eventually becoming the site of Boys’ Home Park.

Old German Cemetery is located on nearby Union Avenue Extension, South Fayette. A significant section is set aside to honor members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). A band of German Lutherans originally wanted to build a church on the property but ran out of money. The church was never built but the cemetery remains.

A tiny, fenced-in cemetery at Fairview Park, South Fayette, remains from when the property was owned by Mayview State Hospital. The 28 grave markers are for “paupers’ graves,” and coffins were not used. The cemetery operated between 1913 and 1918.

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