Erie County (PA) Genealogy
Saint Mary of Czestochowa Cemetery
aka Polish National Cemetery or Nicholson Heights Cemetery
information and pictures submitted by Richard Tefft
Saint Mary of Czestochowa Polish National Church of Erie was started April 2, 1917 and was located at 21st & Wallace Streets in Erie, PA. The church was part of the Polish National Catholic Church, which was a splinter group of the Catholic Church and was not associated with the Erie Catholic Diocese. The cemetery was located on Merline Avenue on the south side of Erie, just off Peach Street.
The church ceased to exist in 1939 and no records can be found. There is still a Polish National Catholic Church organization with headquarters in Buffalo. Unfortunately they have no idea of what could have become of the records.
It is believed there were a few burials there after the church ceased to exist, but by the 1970s the cemetery was badly overgrown with headstones scattered about including some leaning against neighbors trees in this residential neighborhood.
In response to complaints coming from the neighborhood, in 1972 the City sent a crew to clean up the cemetery, including removing all headstones. Since that time it has been nearly forgotten. The property now belongs to the Pulaski Club, which pays to keep it mowed. But to any passer by it looked like someones yard.
On February 21, 2001, thanks to the work of Mr. Tom Doyle, whose grandparents are buried there, the City of Erie dedicated a new memorial with the names of 34 people known to have been buried there. It is believed that up to 80 burials may have taken place there.
The Erie Society for Genealogical Research is now heading up the effort to find the names of as many of those burials as possible in order to get all the burials identified on that memorial. If anyone knows of any other burials there please let ESGR know by writing to them at PO Box 1403, Erie, PA 16512. If it can be verified that a person is buried there and not listed on that memorial, they will see to it that it gets added.
Saint Mary of Czestochowa Polish National Cemetery, or Polish National Cemetery, or Nicholson Heights Cemetery - Names included on Memorial Stone as of 21 Feb 2001.
|SURNAME||FIRST NAME||DATE OF DEATH||OTHER DATA|
Above transcription of names completed by Bill Klauk.
This is a picture of the "lot" where the cemetery is located. As one can see, it looks just like someone's side yard. Without any gravestones, it would be hard to tell that this is a burial ground.
This page was last updated on Monday, March 05, 2001 .
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