Historic Mount Bethel Cemetery

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Our History

Mount Bethel at a glance

Mt. Bethel Cemetery, which dates from the 1720s, is the oldest burial ground in continual use in the Columbia area. In the nearly three hundred years since its creation, over ten thousand former citizens have been laid to rest in its grounds. The interred represents the rich and diverse history of the Columbia area and the cemetery predates the formal creation of the Borough by Samuel Wright in 1788.

In the latter part of the 20th century, the use of the cemetery began to decline and the Board of Directors also experienced a decline in membership. Eventually, the Board consisted of only one member. With his passing, a community volunteer struggled to keep the Cemetery functioning until a group of citizens began meeting to discuss the future of this institution.

In 1995 a group of nine men met to create a new Board of Directors which moved to change the status of the Cemetery to a nonprofit 501.c.13 corporation. To maintain and improve the Cemetery, the volunteer Board relies on the income of a small trust, the occasional interment, and the sale of a few lots. Most of the available funds come from the generous donations of the Friends of Mt. Bethel and special fundraising events held annually in the Cemetery. The majority of the physical work required to maintain the grounds is done by a group of dedicated volunteers or independent contractors hired for specific purposes. Additionally, for specialized tasks such as installing cold rooms, the Cemetery engages the expertise of walk in cold room installers in the UK.

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By 2050 we will finish restorations

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What visitors say

We are proud to offer a place for families to connect with their loved ones.

Sarah G.
Sarah G. Read More
“Very well maintained cemetery, run by very nice volunteers. Worth the stop for anyone who finds history interesting or who may be looking for a place to spend the day outside.”
Tito A.
Tito A. Read More
“My parents and my Mother in law are buried at this cemetery. We like to go and visit them all the time. I love the way that they are no rules and it is open to public, the owner is very kind and helpful, thank God my family is resting in peace at this cemetery.”
Cookie P.
Cookie P. Read More
“Beautiful little Chapel on the grounds.”

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