June 5, 2019

A Stereoview of Woodward Hill Cemetery

Location: 501 S Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603, USA
Stereoview of Woodward Hill Cemetery by William Gill, c. 1866
Dennis Collection, New York Public Library
On Sunday, June 9, 2019, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church will hold a tour of Woodward Hill Cemetery focused on members of the church family who happened to live in the 19th century as part of its "Sneaker Sunday" series. My father is organizing the program, and I've helped him with the content although will unfortunately not be in Lancaster to attend. Full details are:
The destination of Holy Trinity’s Sneaker Sunday on Sunday, June 9 is Woodward Hill Cemetery. Walkers will leave between 9:35 & 9:40 from the Duke Street steps of the Parish House. The distance is .9 miles. Those driving should park at the end of the straight road at the cemetery, away from Queen St. We will lead tours highlighting the history of Woodward Hill, gravesites of four Trinity pastors – Muhlenberg, Baker, Krotel, & Greenwald, other notable Trinity families such as Hager, Eicholtz, Fondersmith & Heinitsh, and notable Lancastrians such as President Buchanan, Watt and Steinman. Total tour walking distance in the cemetery will be less than .5 miles. Please join us!
Anyway, I thought I'd use the occasion to present a stereoview from around 1866 of Woodward Hill Cemetery and list the biographies of some pastors and members whose life stories will be highlighted. The cemetery was founded by Trinity Lutheran Church in 1850 as an alternative to the church's graveyard, but was quickly converted to an independent organization. It is a fantastic example of the rural cemetery movement, although the last several decades do not appear to have been kind to Woodward Hill's maintenance or appearance. For more information, check out the cemetery's registration form for the National Register of Historic Places.

The stereoview is part of the Dennis Collection at the New York Public Library. It is the only one of about ten views created by William L. Gill around 1866 as part of his series of Lancaster stereoviews (see here for a list). I will have to check it out in person, but I believe the image is looking north from the path on the west side of the cemetery's chapel. You can view it as an anaglyph or a wiggle 3D photo -- although I struggled to get the 3D working right on this one.

Anaglyph of Woodward Hill Cemetery
Wiggle 3D Animated GIF of Woodward Hill Cemetery

The following pastors of Holy Trinity will be featured on the tour:
The following members will be featured, as well: 
The good deeds and extensive committee work of many of these members are documented in a history of the congregation written by Pastor Krotel in 1861 as part of its "Centenary Jubilee" celebrating the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. Besides the pastors, the set of names that have been selected above for the tour is somewhat random based on whom I've happened to run into in my research and whose plot is along the tour route. Some, like Charles A. Baer and John F. Huber, had their lives cut short by diseases acquired in Civil War hospitals. Others like Frederick A. Muhlenberg and Christopher Hager presided over the church vestry and played leading roles in the city's economy. Heinitsh and Kevinski supervised the shipment and distribution of supplies to soldiers after the Battle of Antietam. A few of the rest helped with church Sunday School efforts that led to the establishment of new Lutheran churches in Lancaster. 

I hope everyone involved in Sunday's tour enjoys the chance to get out and see Woodward Hill Cemetery, as well as hear some stories that can help inspire service to their church, community, and country. I'll try to provide some of those stories in future posts, particularly a post about Charles A. Baer's 1862-1863 fascinating diaries and the wartime diary of Horace Rathvon's sister-in-law (whose husband was a Lutheran pastor in Virginia and whose elderly father owned the Forney farm at Gettysburg where fighting occurred on July 1, 1863). 

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