Easter Sunrise Service Planned


WAYNESBORO- Green Hill Cemetery Association, 953 S. Potomac St., has planned a slate of public events throughout the year to mark the 150th anniversary of its founding.

The first event of the cemetery’s sesquicentennial observance will be a community Easter sunrise service at 6:30 a.m., Sunday, April 9. The Waynesboro Bible Church and the Berean Bible Fellowship of State Line will conduct the service. Attendees should bring lawn chairs, use the southern last cemetery entrance off Wayne Highway and proceed to the southeast hill of the cemetery.

In case of rain, the service will be held in the Waynesboro Bible Church, 8216 Stottlemyer Rd., Waynesboro. The church will post changes at waynesborobible.org and by calling 717-762-2607. 

On March 10, 1873, the Franklin County Court signed an order incorporating the Green Hill Cemetery Association, and the cemetery charter was filed with the commonwealth on March 24 of that year. The first interment in the cemetery occurred in January 1874, when Barbara Newcomer was buried there.

At first, the cemetery grew slowly, largely because of antagonism toward it in the community, according to Todd Dorsett, chairman of the sesquicentennial planning committee. “But in 1888, the association hired as its third superintendent an energetic young local man, Ferdinand S. Gilbert, who quickly made the cemetery a scenic and popular burying ground which was profitable for its shareholders.” Gilbert remained in charge for 45 years, overseeing many improvements, Dorsett added, including the creation of a topiary zoo nearby that brought Waynesboro national attention. 

Other events planned for the sesquicentennial include a summer solstice observance with the rededication of the Memorial Sundial on Wednesday, June 21, a community picnic on Saturday, Aug. 12, and an autumn event in the cemetery.  Guided and self-guided tours of Green Hill will be part of each event.

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