Hallowed Grounds

Annual Meeting – Register Today!

Join us at Shippensburg University for our annual conference, with Keynote Speaker Dr. tonya thames taylor! We want to hear your stories! We want to learn from your experiences!

Registration for the meeting will be free, but space is limited. RSVP here: http://2015hallowedgrounds.app.rsvpify.com/

We have reserved a hotel block nearby at The Shippen Place Hotel for October 23 and 24. To reserve a room at the block rate of $75+tax, call them at (717) 532-4141 and be sure to mention that you’re attending the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds conference.

Full schedule:

9:00-10:00 am Registration

10:00-10:30 Welcome and Overview of the Year’s Work (Barksdale/Burg/Sloan)

10:30-11:40 “Forgotten Histories: Locating and Protecting Historic African American Cemeteries,” by Dr. Lynn Rainville, Sweet Briar College

11:40-12:00 Break and Lunch

12:00-12:30 “Constructing Liberty: Freedom, United States Colored Troops, and Memory” by Dr. tonya thames taylor, West Chester University

12:30-1:30 Reports from the Sites

1:30-2:30 Panel Discussion and Q & A: “What Will Your Cemetery Look Like in 100 Years? Strategies for Effective Long-Term Planning”

2:30-3:00 Wrap Up and Preparing for the Grand Review

3:30-4:30 Guided Tour of Shippensburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery

Annual Meeting at Shippensburg University

Save the Date!

Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Project 

Annual Meeting 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Reisner Hall’s Tuscarora Room, Shippensburg University 

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

We want to hear your stories! We want to learn from your experiences! Join us in this effort! Registration for this meeting will be free, but space is limited.   Look for more information to come to get registered.

Meeting with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania

On Monday, March 20th, several of our staff met with members of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania to discuss our work and how it can be supported in counties throughout the state. Check out some pictures below!

If you know of a burial site of United States Colored Troops that needs help or if you’re interested in learning more about what we do, feel free to drop us a line at pahallowedgrounds@gmail.com .






Midland Cemetery – Gigapan Pictures (September 2010)

On September 16, 2010 several organizations as well as students from Steelton-Highspire Hight School met at Midland Cemetery in Steelton, Pennsylvania to help clean up and preserve the grave markers. You can see Gigapan Pictures (interactive panoramic images) of the cemetery by clicking on the links below.

Image 1 ; Image 2 ; Image 3 ;   Image 4

The following images of Midland Cemetery were taken in May 2010:

Image 1 ; Image 2 ; Image 3 ; Image 4
(Images Courtesy of Byron Kiehl, Steelton-Highspire School District)

Bucktoe Creek Cemetery

Check out the slideshow below of pictures from Bucktoe Creek Cemetery, which is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. They were taken during the Rugged Conservation Weekend that took place on September 11, 2010. You can learn more about this cemetery at the Land Conservancy’s website.

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(Images Courtesy of Gwendolyn M. Lacy)

Hallowed Grounds

Small cemeteries across Pennsylvania sometimes offer the only opportunity to see evidence of the African American lives that helped save the Union.  Many of the neighborhoods and homes of nineteenth century black families in Pennsylvania are no longer standing.  Often the documents and records of their lives have become difficult to find or might no longer be available.  But the graveyards of Pennsylvania still hold poignant evidence of the men and their families who sacrificed so much for their nation.  This section uses photographs, videos, and dynamic maps to help illustrate the power of these hallowed grounds.

Dynamic Map of Pennsylvania’s Hallowed Grounds

Using free tools from Google Maps, we have launched a dynamic new map of Pennsylvania’s hallowed grounds that attempts to chart the burial locations of black soldiers from Pennsylvania who fought in the Civil War.  In particular, this map-in-progress highlights  cemeteries that hold the remains of the 100 Voices, or representative figures being memorialized by the 2010 PA Grand Review initiative.  For example, three members of the  100 Voices are buried at Midland Cemetery in Steelton, Pennsylvania —Lemuel Butler, Andrew Hill and Charles Henderson.  Visitors to the dynamic online map will find photographs and exact GPS coordinates of their headstones (courtesy of Calobe Jackson, Jr.) as well as background information on these men. Each online cemetery marker also includes information such as photographs or videos (where available) of the cemetery and whatever additional background information might be contained within Dickinson College’s House Divided research engine or at the Pennsylvania Grand Review website.   This particular Hallowed Grounds map is  ongoing project that needs your help.  Please feel free to contribute photos, videos, GPS coordinates (obtainable through smart phones or GPU handsets) by sending them to us at hdivided@dickinson.edu.   Other Civil War Era-related dynamic maps, such as one concerning the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania or Frederick Douglass’s childhood in Baltimore, have been posted here.

We need your help

Those of you familiar with Pennsylvania Grand Review and its partner sites have probably seen this “stock image” representing a young soldier of the United States Colored Troops.  Similarly, there is also another image shown below that stands as a place mark for images of cemeteries designated as “Hallowed Grounds.”  We use these images simply because we have not yet have images for these soldiers and/or their resting places.

If you happen to have images of any of these men, perhaps in your family collection, or can provide photographs of their gravestone and/or a general photographic view of the cemeteries in which they are buried, you can become a valuable contributor to the project.  Family photographs can be scanned or shot with a digital camera while cemetery digital photographs can be sent as you took them.  Send the resulting files along to us by e-mail at housedivided@dickinson.edu.  Please keep the digital images at a decent size, no smaller than 650 x 750 pixels if you can manage it.  Do not cut them down or edit them; we will do that for you.  And you will receive credit in all postings as photographer and contributor.

If you are more technically equipped, you can help us in one final way by providing the GPS co-ordinates for individual grave markers or cemetery gates.  This will help us give the most accurate directions for visitors to the “Hallowed Grounds” where these American heroes rest.

Should you have any difficulty or simply wish to ask advice on a contribution, please do not hesitate to contact us through this blog or by electronic mail.

P.S.  For those who may be interested, the representative image we use for the U.S.C.T. soldier is taken from a Harper’s Weekly drawing of “The Escaped Slave in the Union Army” in July 1864 while the cemetery icon is adapted from an artist’s representation of Aaron Burr’s grave in Arlington Cemetery, also published in Harper’s but in March 1869.