I used to live just blocks from this cemetery and had never visited it until last week when we were early for a Doctor appointment in Lebanon. As my husband pulled up to the gate he informed me that I had exactly eight minutes to photograph anything I wanted to! I jumped from the car before it came to a complete stop on was on my way!
The first thing that caught my eye was this shaded, serene spot with three very large brass tablets. I took the picture of the site and then went up to read the tablets.
The Moravian cemeteries are referred to as God’s Acre and burials are usually made in what is known as a Choir System. Men are buried in one section and women in another, chronologically, according to the order in which they leave their earthly life. This is a practice still in use today in most Moravian cemeteries. The “God’s Acre” part of Moravian Cemeteries have no fancy headstones, monuments or statues to distinguish one class of the congregation from another. They are all flat stones, the same size as the next one. Hebron, as well as it’s neighbor to the south, Lititiz Moravian Cemetery, each have a section that sites can be purchased in and monuments, statutes and upright stones can be used. I will blog about Lititz at a later time since I do know a lot about that cemetery. I used to be a member of that congregation.
The picture above is a portion of one side of the tablet. Each side lists the site number, the name of the person buried there and their birth and death years. The middle of the tablet tells of some of the members of the old congregation and what they did in certain wars. Don’t you wish every cemetery you visited had this type of information in a form that would withstand the weather?
This is an example of the number above the recumbent stone.
Hastily making my rounds through this cemetery, I next photographed a Civil War Cannon that was captured by the Confederates and later recaptured by the Union Army, according to the brass plaque on the cannon. It was presented by the G.A.R. and dedicated in July of 1931.
Moving on I saw a huge boulder at the back entrance to the cemetery and not until I got to the other side did I realize that this, too, had a brass plaque on it! This was erected in 1929 “under the auspices” of the Lebanon Historical Society, Swatara Tribe No. 276, Improved Order of Redman, Inc, The Lebanon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and other Patriotic Citizens.
I hurried out of “God’s Acre” and went to see a monument or two in the other section to photograph, but did not find anything out of the ordinary that caught my attention in that length of time. I decided to head back to the car because I figured my time was up when I saw the wall by the gate and had to stop and take the picture.
I figure that the wall was erected after these people were buried, what do you think? . . . and where exactly are the graves that those two headstones that are imbedded in the wall belong to? The headstones are no longer readable as evidenced by the picture below.
I figured my time was up so I hurried to the car, only to learn I still had a minute and a half! I plan on coming back to this cemetery and spending more than eight minutes next time.
After all, I still have a minute and a half credit from this visit!