Harrisonburg Rockingham Historical Society

Rockingham County Tombstones by Cemetery

Cemetery

 Frank Harman Place Cemetery

Location

North of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia. From downtown Harrisonburg, take Route 42 North. About 100 yards on the left side of Route 42, before you get to Road 767 (Willow Run Road), there is a driveway that turns left beside a small wooded area that goes to a house that sits on the hill facing Route 42. This is how you access the cemetery area. New houses have been built right up to the edge of the wooded area so it is hemmed in by them on the left and the house on the hill on the right. It is the only wooded area left along there.
 

Notes

n 1967 J. Robert Swank wrote "Old burial plot. Unfenced and unmarked containing 25 to 30 graves - one said to include a soldier and possibly slaves. Indications are that those buried here was during or prior to the Vanpelt ownership." He also wrote "Deed Book 5, page 198-205, 1 May 1869 Benjamin Vanpelt exr. of est. of Peter Vanpelt to Joseph Cromer; Deed Book 11, page 162, 8 Dec 1873 Est. of Benjamin Cromer to John H. Ralston."

In 2002 Harriet Welch wrote, "There is some evidence of graves in the wooded area, and according to Frank Harman's son, it looked much more like a cemetery in the 60s or 70s. There are a few stones laying around - several shaped field stones, and some flat shaped stones - but no markings in evidence on any of them. They also appear to have been gathered and piled in one area. The history of the ownership of this lands goes as follows: Grant to Thomas Gragg 1773; George Davis purchased at undetermined date; Tunis Vanpelt purchased 1779 from George Davis; Tunis and then Peter Vanpelt owned this land from 1779 until it was sold to Joseph Cromer in 1840; Cromer owned 1840 to 1873 when sold to John H. Rolston. I believe, like Swank before me, that this cemetery was the Vanpelt cemetery. It would appear to have been there prior to the purchase by Rolston, and he didn't die until the early 1900s. Joseph Cromer did not live on this land as his home (and family cemetery) are northwest of this location. Likely occupants would be Tunis Vanpelt, Peter Vanpelt, and possibly others of Peter's family. Peter was a Revolutionary War soldier, so could explain Swank's comment about a soldier being buried here."

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