Solstice observance in cemetery planned 

This monument of the Jay F. Shank family, erected in 1917, is located in Waynesboro’s Green Hill Cemetery.

WAYNESBORO–“Cocktails in the Cemetery: A Summer Solstice Observance” is the second in a series of events to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Green Hill Cemetery.

The celebration will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, at the cemetery, 953 S. Potomac St. Hosted by Antietam Historical Association, the event will feature a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, cemetery tours and music by Frank and Bob. The rededication of the Memorial Sundial will be observed at 6 p.m.

Reserved tickets are $20 per person and $35 per couple and $25 per person and $40 at the door. 

Tickets are available by calling 717-762-2759 or 717-658-6789 or at the cemetery office. 

The first event of the cemetery’s sesquicentennial observance was a community Easter sunrise service April 9. Also planned are a community picnic Saturday, Aug. 12, and an autumn event. Guided and self-guided tours of Green Hill will be part of each event.

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.

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