I arrived at the cemetery and was immediately impressed with the overall condition of the area. As I walked the rows of old stones, I was impressed with the overall condition of the cemetery and the stones still standing. Many of the stones showed weathering, but most of them were still legible. It does appear that a number of stones are missing due to the gaps between the stones.
Wandering the grounds I found veterans of the American Revolution and a veteran of the War of 1812. The most famous people buried in this old cemetery, however, are the two who are no longer buried here. Yes, the most famous people who have been buried here are no longer buried here.
You might have heard of them. Their names are Samuel and Isabella. What? Never heard of them? They had a son, James, who you might have heard of once or twice? No, haven't heard of him either?
On August 14, 1759, James was born to Samuel and Isabella. In 1785, Samuel was forced to sell the farm in a sheriff's sale. James bought 116 acres of his father's farm. He immediately divided the 116 acres into 210 lots and on January 10, 1786, he started selling them. His desire was to have his newly laid out town become the county seat of a new county that was being proposed, so he donated land for a jail and helped raise money to offset the cost of building public buildings. The town he laid out would become infamous during the summer of 1863 when the Union and Confederacy met there.
Have you figured it out yet? The county would become Adams County and the county seat became Gettysburg, named after its founder James Gettys.
James Gettys was a veteran of the American Revolution and was a very active member of society, always looking for ways to improve and expand. He served as Brigadier General of the local militia, as sheriff for the county, and as a state legislator, just to name a few of the positions he held during his lifetime. He married Mary Todd, ancestor of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Lincoln.
I left the cemetery as I found it, alone on a hillside, filled with history waiting to be explored by others.