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Rural Cemetery to Urban Oasis

October 4, 2023 @ 5:00 PM

On Wednesday, October 4, join LancasterHistory and The Friends of the Tanger Arboretum as we welcome Kate Benisek, landscape architect and professor at Temple University, and Jennifer O’Donnell, President of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery to our Regional History Colloquium. Benisek and O’Donnell will discuss how Mount Moriah Cemetery, a 200-acre cemetery established in 1855, came to be abandoned and unkept and how, in early 2011, it became certified as an arboretum with a “living legacy.”

Once one of Philadelphia’s grand rural cemeteries, Mount Moriah Cemetery spans nearly 200 acres across Southwest Philadelphia and Yeadon Borough. The cemetery has been an inclusive final resting place for Philadelphia’s diverse population, welcoming people of all races and incomes, and adapting to the changing burial needs of its diverse communities, including incorporating US military lots, Muslim burials, and communal plots. After the cemetery was abandoned by its owners, The Friends of Mount Moriah, Inc. was formed and has cared diligently for the cemetery since 2011. Today, The Mount Moriah Cemetery and Arboretum cares for both the living and the dead, by focusing on ecological restoration, educational programming, and community events.

Doors open and the reception begins at 5pm. The lecture will begin at 5:30pm. The lecture will also be streamed to YouTube Live at 5:30pm for those who wish to join us virtually.

This program is free and open to the public. In-person attendance requires advance registration in order to guarantee a seat. Due to capacity restrictions, tickets may not be available at the door. Virtual attendance requires advance registration in order to receive the YouTube link.

Click here for more information about the speakers and how to register.


October 4, 2023
5:00 PM


Saint James Episcopal Church
103 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602 United States
+ Google Map
(717) 397-4858


Saint James Episcopal Church
119 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

The Rev. David W. Peck, Rector
The Rev. Shayna Watson, Associate Rector
The Rev. Glenn Miller, Priest Associate

Weekend Services

Sunday Mass 8:30 AM
Sunday Mass 10:30 AM

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Audrey Scanlan, Bishop
Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania


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