Phoenixville Cemeteries

Laura Sherrod - 2015

The Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area is located in one of the best spots in the Borough of Phoenixville, PA at the intersection of Main and Church Streets.  This piece of land has an interesting history.  The property was a Mennonite place of worship starting in 1794, with a meeting house and cemetery for this group on site until the 1870s at which time the property passed hands to a Lutheran congregation.  Over the following decades the cemetery, which was the resting place of approximately one hundred Mennonites, was disturbed by construction and expansion of the Central Lutheran Church.  This plot is currently occupied by a large and elegant church constructed in an English Gothic style in 1873, with a small parsonage in one corner of the parcel. 


GEL 358 students survey the site with the GSSI SIR 300 GPR system with 400MHz antenna.

Students survey the site with the Geometrics G-858 Magnetometer. 

Records from 1905 indicate that bodies unearthed during construction efforts were either transferred to the local Morris Cemetery or reinterred in the churchyard.  The church building currently houses the administrative offices, museum, and archives for the Historical Society which acquired the property in 1980.  Today, the churchyard stands cleared of not just some, but all grave markers.  It is unknown if the bodies were moved with the grave markers or if they are still in place within the churchyard.  Geophysical investigations were performed to provide subsurface images for the Historical Society using a 400MHz GSSI SIR 3000 GPR system and a Geometrics G-858 magnetometer in gradiometer mode.  Survey results indicate that the former cemetery was not cleared of burials and several of the original interments may still be in place. 

News coverage of the surveys can be found at the following links:
Daily Local 1
Daily Local 2
Phoenixville Cemetery Results Archaeological Geophysics Ground Penetrating Radar
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