After many years of searching for actual location of the Tripp Burial Ground, near or on the Tripp property, by Norma Reese & Ralph W Robinson, II, Norma discovered the attached letter to the editor of the Scranton Republican newspaper, that confirms the exact location of the Tripp Burial Ground on the Tripp property, and where the Tripp Mine Diamond Shaft over-ran the burial grounds and the Tripp burial graves, and from where they were reburied in Forest Hill Cemetery as documented previously.
Burial Places In The Lackawanna Valley
To The Editor of The Morning Republican
The Lackawanna Valley, peopled by many races, as diverse in character, temperament and habit as possible, all drawn hither by the lore of adventure or the hopes of gain, boasts of its cities, its towns, and villages of no ordinary thrift and beauty, and yet, with all the immense wealth of its coalbeds, the healthfulness and beauty of its locality, and the reputed refinement and intelligence of its inhabitants, how few appropriate burial places are accorded to the dead!
In passing down the valley from the low hills of Wayne county, where the head springs send the flood fifty miles away to the Susquehanna, how many spots, where breaking hearts have left their loved ones till that bright resurrection morning, are now turned into pasture lots, serrated by railroad tracks, or choked by weary loads of culm! Striving, struggling, and striking, how few expect to need a burial place in Scranton, or around it?
From Carbondale to Pittston are found some thirty burial places, and such places! May the Lord have mercy on the men to whose keeping they are entrusted! Taken as a whole, how painfully apparent is the want of taste, respect or even common decency exhibited towards the dead. How often we see the unfenced graveyard by the roadside rooted by swine, instead of being cared for or even adorned with shrubbery? How many places sloping towards the stream, once made green and beautiful by the hands of a loving mother or husband whose love is no more, are given up to weeds or to oxen and cows grazing sluggishly upon them?
The oldest burial place in the
Valley, aside from the Indian
mounds of Capouse, is located in Pittston, on a sandy bluff overlooking
Everhart's Island, near the mouth of the Lackawanna. Old graves
unknown are found here. A single headstone, bearing this rudely carved
27 Y A R
is all that interprets the history of the occupants of this spot known in the olden time as "Scott's Burying." Some seventy other graves, without stones or inscription, are faintly indicated by the depression in the green sward, while a few feet in front, around a large field, stands a rail fence, thus leaving the graves fenced out into commons.
In passing over the spot a dozen years ago with the venerable Dr. Peck, it seemed to us that the graves had been purposely crowded upon the outer edge of the field for economical or other purposes, and that the place had been robbed of its former sacredness by the hand of time or cupidity. Wild plum trees of great size, overgrown with grape vines, formed a thicket over the dead until a few years since.
As the grave of Betty Brown lay in the centre of the group, it is probable that some of the other graves were made anterior to 1788, although the valley had been settled but nineteen years previous to this. There can be no doubt but that the first interment along the Lackawanna was made here, but who was the first silent occupant of this meadow's bosom no one can tell. The Atherton burial place of Lackawanna township, long used by the inhabitants, presents a crowded, but otherwise neat and well kept appearance.
The Tedrick burial place in Pittston, fenceless and friendless, presents such a neglected aspect to the eye that every-body deny that they have friends sleeping there.
On a gentle slope of the old Stephen Tripp farm, above Hyde Park, over-looking Capouse Meadow, lies the Tripp graveyard, once wreathed with pleasant flowers and shrubbery in their softest coloring, but now smothered upon every side by pyramids of coal and culm black as midnight.
[AT THE TRIPP DIAMOND SHAFT]
It is not many hundred yards away from the gasses constantly issuing and burning, and it offers no attractions now, other than the sad or pleasant associations of the past. One of the earliest stones, over the remains of Stephen Tripp, bears date 1799.
Near this grave reposes the dust of one whom all knew and loved in his day, as the Doctor of the country. How the green grass grows on the simple mound, sheltered only by the blossoms of an apple tree! Who sleeps in the narrow furrow surrounded by Alps of culm without a head stone to mark his grave? Dr Silas B. Robinson, a droll old man, whose kindly greeting and practical ways are well remembered in the community where he lived and died. The masonic fraternity, of which he was an honored member, appropriated funds for a monument for the Doctor a few years since, but his son's promise, not yet fulfilled, to erect one himself, arrested further action in the matter.
Unless these graves are removed they cannot fail in time to be dug under or covered over with mining debris, or worse still, scorched by the subterranean fires hissing their flames from the crevices in the ground at the foot of the hill. Ira Tripp, esq., is too shrewd and liberal a man not to anticipate and prepare for such a contingency by looking towards Dunmore where there is plenty of room if there is no comfort in the thought of being laid away there, upon the cold shelf with friend and foe for a few thousand centuries.
Copywrited By Ralph W. Robinson,
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