Holy Cross Cemetery had its beginning, in the year 1874, as the parochial cemetery of the original St. Mary's Catholic Church, on East Marshall Street, on the north side, between 3rd and 4th streets.
The church was built in 1851 by the large number of German immigrants to the city who had formed their own congregation, in 1843, to have there services conducted in their native language.
In March of 1874, the Benedictine Society of Westmorland County Pennsylvania, that held the patronage of St. Mary's Church, purchased ten and one half acres of land, which is now the northern section of the present Holy Cross Cemetery.
These pictures were taken in the spring of 2012. Most interesting are the various headstones that reflect time and culture. The beautiful brick wall and chapel provide a wonderful background. The Benedictine Sisters burial plots are marked by the distinctive patina colored Crosses and the entrances with ornate cast iron gates. Enjoy your tour of our grounds! ...[see the photos]
Many friends of Holy Cross Cemetery having forebears and relatives whose remains are interred there, have asked that a record of the circumstances which brought about the cemetery's founding and its history since then, be recorded for posterity. This small work attempts to do that before much that is presented here is otherwise consigned to the grave.
Much of the anecdotal content was handed down by word of mouth or came from a forty-five year association of the author with the cemetery variously as director, secretary, treasurer, and vice-president/managing director. ...[read more]