Mysteries of Springettsbury Township’s Erb Burial Plot
At least 50 years separate these two northward looking aerial photos east of I-83 at Mt. Rose Avenue. The top view is a detail from an undated aerial photo by Dave Allen and is from the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee Archives. Read on to see why this photo can be dated between 1959 and 1964, most likely circa 1961. The lower photo is a 2014 Bing.com Birds Eye View.
In recent months I’ve received several inquiries about the Erb Burial Plot. This family cemetery still shows up on present maps, in Springettsbury Township, near the Mt. Rose Avenue interchange with I-83. For example, in an ADC Map Book, turn to page 3566, at grid location A7: a Cemetery is indicated near the northwest corner of Russell Street and Washington Road.
People visit that location, wanting to do family history research from the inscriptions on gravestones within the cemetery. Not seeing a cemetery, they inquire at the Misericordia Nursing and Rehab Center, near the site; where no one has any idea about a cemetery in the area.
First mystery solved; the remains from the 44 graves in the Erb Burial Plot were transferred 50 years ago to two common graves in Mt. Rose Cemetery. This was done when the Misericordia Center was built; not wanting to have a small cemetery at their entrance off of Russell Street. In 1964 it was permissible to do this to old family cemeteries. However after Pennsylvania passed the Historic Burial Places Preservation Act in 1994, moving such cemeteries is illegal.
Second mystery remains unsolved. What happened to the original gravestones? They were not transferred to Mt. Rose Cemetery. If you know what happened to the original gravestones, please comment.
A related mystery involves a business within the area. Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County notes “Landis & Erb” in the same township; see this link for location. Speculation is that this is a business, which refers to John Landes and Jacob Erb; both these men and their families were buried within the Erb Burial Plot. If anyone knows specific details about this business, please comment.
The removal of the remains from the Erb Burial Plot, during 1964, is referenced within the Cemetery Books at the York County Heritage Trust; Volume II, page 224. This volume also lists the details, recorded from the 44 gravestones on November 20, 1933.
The neighboring section of Interstate-83 was opened October 28, 1959. Therefore the upper undated aerial photo was taken between 1959 and 1964. Viewing other buildings in the whole undated photo, I’m fairly certain the upper photo is very close to 1961.
The following photo shows the marker placed over the common Erb Burial Plot graves within Section L of Mt. Rose Cemetery. Specific location is in the North Half of Lot 215. A follow-up post will examine this marker in greater detail.
Related posts include:
- The Missing Gravestones of Springettsbury Township; Erb Burial Plot
- Why a Graveyard is along Eastern Boulevard at Stone Ridge Road
- The Famed Twin Barns along Mt. Rose Avenue
- Decorative twin barns at Mt. Rose Ave. Exit 18
- Dr. Neal O. Hively Connected Draft Map of The Manor of Springettsbury
- Location of Strickler’s Cemetery in Springettsbury Township