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Community Genealogy & History

Cemetery Records - Tioga County, Pennsylvania

Rutland Township Cemeteries
Tioga County, Pennsylvania 
Old Roseveille Cemetery
Photo by Joyce M. Tice

March 2007
When Worlds Collide: Kelsey Jones searches for old tombstone bases while Roseville youngsters search for Easter Eggs. Treasure is treasure, and it is all in the eyes of the beholder. They have their idea of treasure, and we have ours. 

Kelsey Jones was kind enough to offer me a tour of the Old Roseville Burial Ground today. This is a high wooded mound just beside the athletic field in the park at Roseville. At some time the inscribed tombstones of our earliest Roseville/Rutland settlers who were in this burial ground were relocated to Watson Cemetery [Now called Roseville Community Cemetery]. We do not know when the relocation occurred or if the relocation included just tombstones or physical remains as well. We are not aware of records that would document this process.

Little did we know that our day to hunt for tombstone bases would coincide with the local Easter Egg Hunt.  When we arrived we were confronted with many dozens of cars parked where we wanted to park and a field full of children and adults. When we saw the athletic field full of brightly colored Easter eggs, we figured out what was going on. Undaunted, we simply pretended we were invisible, and skirting the egg populated field we arrived at the [former] burial ground behind only to observe more brightly colored Easter eggs hidden under the leaves and branches.

The remains of the burial ground includes fieldstones mounted upright to mark both the head and foot of graves as well as slotted bases where inscribed tombstones that had stood in them were removed to Watson Cemetery. There is just no way that we know to identify who is or was buried here. These are very early burials and we just do not have resources to identify them.

Before we had finished, the Easter Egg hunters has descended upon us in their frenzy to find the eggs with prizes in them. Adaptable as I am, I switched from photographing the fieldstone burial markers to photographing the Easter Egg Hunt of 2007. Today's event is tomorrow's history. Onward. Following are the photos of these dual events. Time in its infinite essence builds up in layers on our finite space.

When we left and ran into people I know who were monitoring the Great Easter Egg Hunt of 2007, we simply explained that we were State Easter Egg Inspectors, and they were kind enough to pretend to believe us. At least they did not argue the point. . [That was Kelsey's idea. I am not that clever.]

Tombstone base remains where tombstone removed Some fieldstone markers remain
The FirstCharge More ascend the hill
The Field gets more crowded A Lone Hunter - it's every one for himself
Of all the many interesting things I have encountered in cemeteries, this is indeed the very first time I ever encountered an Easter Egg Hunt. 

<< Old Roseville Burial Ground >>

Hello Joyce;  My Mother & Father were living in Roseville at the time this cemetery was excavated. All the remains that could be found were removed. Mom's not certain of the exact date but thinks it was about 1951. With the fear of unknown disease, security was extremely tight. The entire area, a good ways back from the cemetery, was fenced off & guards posted 24 hours a day.

Mom feels a project such as this one, surely the County Seat &/or Funeral Homes involved will have records.

    Hope all is well with you & your family

                          Frank Thrasher

Not sure what was going on in the time and incident Frank reports,. We are trying to track it down. However, the following more accurately represents the reinterrment and is in keeping with what we already had reported. 
Joyce,  There is a knoll that used to be a cemetery behind the school house. Or maybe the school is gone now, I don't know about that. We used to have a ball diamond behind the school and that knoll was beyond the diamond.  The graves on that knoll were moved a long time ago. I went to school there in 1929 to 1932 and the graves were not there then. We used to play cowboys and indians on the knoll. We hid in the depressions where the graves had been removed and sneaked around through the trees.
  I think it was 1931 that Dad was given the job at the cemetery and one of the things he did was rearrange some of the old stones that had come from the knoll. Reinterment was in a small area behind the Watson lot. (The watson lot has a ring of trees around it.)  The old stones were tipped over and some of them broken. Dad repaired the stones and reset them in a semi-circle facing the drive. There was no way to tell where the actual graves were and there was noone living who remembered any of the people so it didn't really matter where the stones were placed.
   I don't remember if he told me when the graves were moved, if he did I have forgotten. I believe that graves were moved from several other small cemeteries around the area.
   My memory is that all the graves were gone when we played there but I could be mistaken, there could have been some still there. It probably wouldn't have bothered us if the graves were there but I don't remember seeing any stones.

Creig Crippen

I don't recall any grave stones on that knoll back of the school house where we played cops and robbers, cowboys and indians etc.
Those stones that Dad reset, the Rose family including the old boy who started it all, where lined up close together scross the ridge.He aligned them the other way along the ridge. They were all there when Dad started as caretaker, but were in bad shape. Some were broken, some tipped over, etc. I remember working with him along about that time and as a boy I wondered if he would get in trouble for setting the stones up in a different position than where the graves were.
The WPA had a few men working in the cemetery at that time and they worked with Dad. That area where those stones were was pretty well grown up with brush and weeds.  Dad and those other men worked for some time clearing the brush and finding the stones.
Considering the condition of the former graves on the knoll back of the school house when we were kids and the way it was covered with brush and trees, the bodies must have been removed many years before we moved there.
                                                                                                                             Osmer Crippen 

Published on Tri-Counties 31 MAR 2007