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150th Anniversary
Community Celebration Week

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150 Anniversary

The Monongahela Cemetery celebrated its 150th Anniversary in June 2013.

Photos from the Anniversary Celebrations



150th Anniversary - Special History Section

The Monongahela Cemetery celebrated its’ 150th Anniversary in June of 2013. To prepare the community for this milestone the Directors of the Cemetery posted interesting history information each month leading up to the anniversary..

Monthly Articles:

Part 1 of 13   

Caleb Harvey

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“A meeting of the citizens of Monongahela City and vicinity was held  at the public house of Mr. Caleb Harvey, on Friday the 3rd day of April AD 1863, for the purpose of purchasing ground and locating a public cemetery. T.R. Hazzard was called to chair the meeting and Joseph Wilson acted as secretary.

On a motion it was resolved that a charter be procured from the court - if it can be done by court exempting the ground for the cemetery from taxation.” If you would like to find out where the public house of Mr. Caleb Harvey was or who he was visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

Photo Caption:

Top: Mr. Caleb Harvey
Bottom: Mr. Caleb Harvey's Public House


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Part 2 of 13   

The first ground purchased was 32 acres from William McClure for $1,040 and a "burying lot" for the McClure family. Also it was decided that Fountain Square and Prospect Circle would be located at the brow of the hill. If you would like to discover where the McClure "burying lot" is located and if Fountain Square and Prospect Circle are still there visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 3 of 13   

The first Superintendent of the Monongahela Cemetery was John Nelson. John was hired for a yearly salary of $300. The first burial took place on May 14, 1863, before the cemetery was surveyed. Adda E. Poppinger died on May 12, 1863. Tragically Adda's brother John died on May 20th. Both died from inflamation of the brain. They were twins and only 4 months old. If you would like to visit the grave's of the twins and learn more about archaic medical terms visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 4 of 13   

Superintendent John Nelson asked for a raise of $100 a year. The raise was denied and a new superintendent, Adam Aughendobler was hired with the privilege of a house and ground for a cow pasture and ground to work for himself. Adam would remain Superintendent until his retirement in 1894. William Issac would become superintendent until 1944, at which time his son Reece Issac would become superintendent until his death on May 9, 1965. Both father and son were well known stone cutters. If you would like to see examples of the craft visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 5 of 13   

In September 1863 John Chislett was hired to survey the cemetery. The land was divided into Sections A, B, C, D, and E. Mr. Chislett was the Superintendent of the Allegheny Cemetery and the preeminent architect during his time. He designed the Bank of Pittsburgh and the Courthouse of 1841. Burke's Building of 1836, next to PPG Place on Fourth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh and the gateway of the Allegheny Cemetery's Butler Street Entrance are the two outstanding examples of his Greek Revival style. If you would like to see a picture of John Chislett visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 6 of 13   

A Story, a Myth, and a Lie About the Monongahela Cemetery

The story of the Witch's Stone began with a Halloween story written by a student at the old Carroll Township Junior High School. The story requires the reader to drive through the cemetery, park in front of the marker, and honk the car's horn three times to summon the spirits. The story was that the Monongahela Cemetery was laid out by the same architect that designed Arlington National Cemetery. Neither Chislett nor Hare and Hare played a part in the national cemetery. The lie is that the cemetery is full and that there is not room to expand. The truth is that less than half of the land has been developed.

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Part 7 of 13   

In 1871 at the request of the Starkweather Post 60 of the Grand Army of the Republic the first veteran's section was created. The 14 grave spaces donated by the cemetery proved to be too few. A second veteran's plot was donated with more than 100 grave spaces to the Starkweather Post. The veteran's plot was decorated with a flag pole and 3 Parrott Rifled Cannons donated by the War Department. This section is often referred to as the Civil War Section. If you are not old enough to remember when the Memorial Day ceremony was held here visit the Monongahela Cemetery to view a photo of Memorial Day in 1899.

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Part 8 of 13   

Of all the events in the Monongahela Cemetery's history, the design and building of the chapel is the most important. The Chapel is the most recognizable landmark in the cemetery. Monongahela's architect F. P. Keller designed the Chapel in 1894. The Chapel was built by the Yohe Brothers of Monongahela at a cost of $3,525.98 and was completed on March 18, 1895. If you want to learn the secret that The Chapel holds, visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 9 of 13   

The Monongahela Cemetery has always honored the country's veterans. Donations of land to establish a burial plot for Civil War Veterans to ensure that their service would never be forgotten was enhanced when the American Legion Frank Downer Post 302 asked for land to create a Legion Section in 1924. In May, the Memorial Day celebration begins with a parade and ends with a solemn ceremony at the Legion Section. Today the cemetery holds the remains of more than 2,500 veterans of wars from the Revolutionary War to the present day. If you would like a reason to "Thank a Veteran", visit the Monongahela Cemetery in May and see the thousands of flags decorating their graves.

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Part 10 of 13   

In 1915 the landscape architects Hare and Hare of St. Louis, MO were hired to develop 130 acres of ground for the future needs of the cemetery. The automobile would be a major consideration in the design process. The original Chislett design of small sections isolated by trees and other planting would be extended by the lawn park design of Hare and Hare. Small isolated sections of the original design would give way to larger open sections. With a vision to the future the roads would be wider to accommodate the automobile. In addition, open vistas and larger sections would be the hallmark of the Hare and Hare design. If you would like to see how the two areas contrast, visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 11 of 13   

If you were not old enough to remember Memorial Day in the Civil War Section of the Monongahela Cemetery, many of you will remember the gold fish pond. In 1892, a fountain was placed in the cemetery. The fountain was removed in 1921 and replaced with a "lake". The "lake" became known as the goldfish pond. Parents would find that the shaded "lake" provided a cool retreat on hot summer days and their child would wonder what happened to the fish in the winter. The fish never seemed to grow larger. To find out where the "lake" was and why the fish never grew, visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 12 of 13   

Frequently Asked Questions About the Monongahela Cemetery

When was it founded? Why was it founded? How large is the Cemetery? How many people are buried in the Cemetery? Who owns the Cemetery? Is there a potter's field? What is perpetual care? Why can't artificial flowers be displayed all year long? To find the answers to these questions or any others, visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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Part 13 of 13   

The Monongahela Cemetery is the only cemetery in the nation to be on the National Register of Historical Places for it's architecture and landscape design. On October 14, 2001 the cemetery was given this prestigious award, making the entire cemetery a historic district. This presents a challenge for those responsible for care of the cemetery. Many of those buried here have no family to care for and decorate their graves. We would like to announce a new program "Adopt a Grave" that will encourage the public to help with the care of those forgotten plots. For information about the "Adopt a Grave" program, please visit the Monongahela Cemetery.

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