Port Elizabeth United Methodist Church Cemetery

As stated in the original deed containing one acre and twenty-seven hundredths for five shillings from Elizabeth Bodly to The Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Port Elizabeth on October 1, 1785, the use of the property was “for the purpose of building a preaching house on, and a burying yard, and to build a school house for the use of the neighborhood after the said meeting-house was built.”

Since that time, the property and therefore the cemetery was added to five more times:

  • March 28, 1809: 25 square rods (approximately 6800 square feet) – This was to include a triangular shaped property, which was the result of changing the direction of Port Elizabeth – Cumberland Road.
    The combination of the original 1785 purchase with the 1809 purchase contains a total of 1212 plots.
  • December 25, 1840: 10 links by 15.5 perches (6.6 feet by 255.75 feet) – This was to bring the grave of local Methodist preacher William Donnelly into the cemetery. He was buried in August 1784.
  • April 16, 1908: Approximately 9300 square feet (Lots 1-44) – Hampton Property #1
    This contains 176 individual plots, all purchased.
  • April 9, 1925: Approximately 10,000 square feet (Lots 45-88) – Hampton Property #2
    This contains 176 individual plots, all purchased.
  • December 4, 1953: Approximately 1.25 acres (Lots 89-240) – Hampton Property #3
    This contains 555 individual plots, about 42% purchased.

Bordered by a pristine stream on the left side of the church and the Manumuskin River in the back, our cemetery is a place of solitude and reflection.  The Meditation Garden is a welcome addition beyond the stream. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011 at the Sunrise Service.  Many who have served are buried here; those have served our country in the military and/or those who have served God as ministers.  Jonas Vanaman is the only veteran from the Revolutionary War.  There are a total of 43 Civil War Veterans buried in this cemetery.  A memorial for nine men lost at war is at the right side of the church.  The American Legion sends an “Around the Horn” contingent each year near Memorial Day to provide a gun salute to these fallen soldiers.

The oldest tombstones in the cemetery are those of Hezekiah Lore, who died June 19th, 1770 and his wife Elizabeth who died on January 2nd, 1761.  Harry Lore, Sr. moved their stones here from the Swedish Moravian Cemetery on the east side of the Maurice River near Spring Garden Ferry in September 1881, because the river washed away most of that graveyard except those stones.

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