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Photo by Melissa Romero

16 historic and notable Philly cemeteries, mapped

There's more to these cemeteries than graveyards

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Editor's note: This article was originally published in October 2016 and has since been updated with the most recent information. Molly Web contributed to this map.

Philly's own Benjamin Franklin once said, "Show me your cemeteries and I will tell you what kind of people you have." Based on those wise words, this city's people have been hard-working, patriotic, and regarded of utmost esteem for decades upon decades. Philadelphia is filled with certified historic cemeteries dating back to the late 1600s, where our founding fathers like Franklin himself have been laid to rest, and we've rounded up 16 of them right here. Some of them are neglected and downright spooky, while others have been beautifully maintained throughout history.

Did we miss a historic cemetery? Leave a comment or send us a tip and we'll add it to the list!

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1. Christ Church Cemetery

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400 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-1695
Visit Website

No list of Philly cemetaries would be complete without the burial ground of Philly's philandering forefather, Benjamin Franklin. Though he himself was not a Christian, he's buried in one of the city's most historic church cemeteries. Although for years visitors and tourists threw pennies on his grave in commemoration of his saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned," that tradition was put to halt after the grave began to crack. The good news is that his headstone has since been restored. Just keep your pennies to yourself.

2. Old Pine Cemetery

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5th and Pine
Philadelphia, PA 19106

If you look closely at the gravestones in this cemetery, you'll notice bullet holes from when British soldiers took over the church and used the tombstones for target practice. The Old Pine Street Church itself was constructed in 1764, and is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Philly.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

3. Mount Moriah Cemetery

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Mount Moriah Cemetery occupies a sprawling 200-some acres at the western edge of the city. While it technically closed in 2011, the group Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery have been working for the past few years to restore the extensive cemetery, which is where Betsy Ross was originally laid to rest.

4. Laurel Hill Cemetery

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3822 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

Much like Mount Moriah, Laurel Hill Cemetery is a pastoral burial ground where Philadelphia's famous and ordinary citizens are buried side by side, including famed architect Frank Furness. The gatehouse was built in 1835, the cemetery offers stunning views of the Schuylkill River. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. The Woodlands Cemetery

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Located right across from the 40th Street Trolley portal, the Woodlands is also historic and dates back to 1786 when William Hamilton shaped the land into a horticultural garden and built a stunning neoclassical mansion. Today, the burial ground is still active—a popular program called Woodland Grave Gardeners lets volunteers adopt a grave and plant Victorian-era plants.

6. Mikveh Israel Cemetery

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825 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-5446
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The Mikveh Israel Cemetery was established in 1740 and is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the city. It’s just a 30x30 lot, but notables such as Haym Salomon, who was a key figure in the American Revolution, and Nathan Levy, whose ship brought the Liberty Bell to America, are buried here.

7. Hood Cemetery

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4901 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 844-1683
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Established in 1692, Hood Cemetery, also known as the Lower Burial Ground of Germantown, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Philadelphia, and one of the oldest historical sites in Germantown. The stone gate was put up in 1842 by Germantown resident William Hood, who is buried here along with 41 soldiers of the Revolutionary War.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

8. Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site

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916 S Swanson St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 389-1513
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Known to many as Old Swede's Church, this national historic site is one of the oldest churches in the nation, dating back to 1700. Swedish settlers, Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans, and sea captains are buried in the cemetery, which has been in use since the 1700s, as well.

9. Philadelphia National Cemetery

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Haines Street & Limekiln Pike
Philadelphia, PA 19138
(215) 504-5610
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This Germantown cemetery is one of the nation's 14 original cemeteries established in 1862. Originally, it was actually composed of numerous lots of land, used as internments for soldiers who died in nearby hospitals during the war. That makes its landscape, which was inspired by designer Frank Law Olmstead, different from the typical cemetery. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

10. Greenwood Knights of Pythias Cemetery

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930 Adams Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19124

In 1869, architect Thomas Levy imagined a rural cemetery with rolling hills, a lake, and natural plantings in keeping with the rural cemetery movement of the 19th-century. Those grandiose plans never happened, however, and instead this historic cemetery fell into disrepair and victim to vandalism. Today, it's under new management and is undergoing revitalization so that families can visit their loved ones buried here.

Courtesy of Google Streetview

11. Mt. Sinai Cemetery

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1901 Bridge St
Philadelphia, PA 19124

Like Mikveh Israel Cemetery (#6), Mt. Sinai Cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia, dating back to 1854. While the cemetery itself is not certified historic, the Frank Furness-designed mortuary chapel certainly is.

12. Byberry African American Cemetery

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14700 Townsend Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Byberry Cemetery was only recently designated historic a few years ago. Its historic name is "Burying Place for All Free Negroes or People of Color within Byberry Twp," and it was established sometime around 1780. Today, it's a neglected lot of land overrun by foliage, but still protected by the city's Register of Historic Places.

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places Nomination

13. Fair Hill Burial Ground

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2901 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19133

This cemetery in Fair Hill dates all the way back to 1703, when it was founded by the Religious Society of Friends. It's had some ups and downs over the years and has changed hands over the years, but prominent abolitionists are buried here and it remains one of two Quaker burial grounds in Philly's city limits.

14. Palmer Burial Ground

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1400 E Palmer
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Originally known as the Kensington Burial Ground, this cemetery dates back to 1747. Wealthy merchant Anthony Palmer established it as a burial ground for residents of his neighborhood. A number of Revolutionary War heroes are laid to rest here.

15. Mount Vernon Cemetery

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3499 W Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

This cemetery is located just across the way from the famous Laurel Hill Cemetery, but it's taken a very different path. Mount Vernon Cemetery dates back to about the same time that Laurel Hill opened. It features a prominent gatehouse that was designed by John Notman, the same architect who designed Laurel Hill's. However, the cemetery has greatly deteriorated over the years despite a group's best efforts to restore the grounds, and it is currently closed to the public. Actor Drew Barrymore's great grandfather, as well as soldiers and signers of the Declaration of Independence are laid to rest here.

16. Eden Cemetery

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1434 Springfield Rd
Collingdale, PA 19023

Some 90,000 African Americans are buried in Eden Cemetery, which lies just few miles outside of Philly's city limits in Collingdale. Octavius Catto's grave is here, as is architect Julian Abele, the first black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design who went onto play a major role in designing the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Little is known about the history of Eden Cemetery, despite its immense size and notable citizens buried within its 23 sections. But its ties to African-American Philadelphians of the 19th century were considered significant enough for it to be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Photo by Melissa Romero

1. Christ Church Cemetery

400 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

No list of Philly cemetaries would be complete without the burial ground of Philly's philandering forefather, Benjamin Franklin. Though he himself was not a Christian, he's buried in one of the city's most historic church cemeteries. Although for years visitors and tourists threw pennies on his grave in commemoration of his saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned," that tradition was put to halt after the grave began to crack. The good news is that his headstone has since been restored. Just keep your pennies to yourself.

400 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

2. Old Pine Cemetery

5th and Pine, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

If you look closely at the gravestones in this cemetery, you'll notice bullet holes from when British soldiers took over the church and used the tombstones for target practice. The Old Pine Street Church itself was constructed in 1764, and is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Philly.

5th and Pine
Philadelphia, PA 19106

3. Mount Moriah Cemetery

Philadelphia, PA 19142

Mount Moriah Cemetery occupies a sprawling 200-some acres at the western edge of the city. While it technically closed in 2011, the group Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery have been working for the past few years to restore the extensive cemetery, which is where Betsy Ross was originally laid to rest.

4. Laurel Hill Cemetery

3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Much like Mount Moriah, Laurel Hill Cemetery is a pastoral burial ground where Philadelphia's famous and ordinary citizens are buried side by side, including famed architect Frank Furness. The gatehouse was built in 1835, the cemetery offers stunning views of the Schuylkill River. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

3822 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

5. The Woodlands Cemetery

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Located right across from the 40th Street Trolley portal, the Woodlands is also historic and dates back to 1786 when William Hamilton shaped the land into a horticultural garden and built a stunning neoclassical mansion. Today, the burial ground is still active—a popular program called Woodland Grave Gardeners lets volunteers adopt a grave and plant Victorian-era plants.

6. Mikveh Israel Cemetery

825 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Mikveh Israel Cemetery was established in 1740 and is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the city. It’s just a 30x30 lot, but notables such as Haym Salomon, who was a key figure in the American Revolution, and Nathan Levy, whose ship brought the Liberty Bell to America, are buried here.

825 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

7. Hood Cemetery

4901 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Established in 1692, Hood Cemetery, also known as the Lower Burial Ground of Germantown, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Philadelphia, and one of the oldest historical sites in Germantown. The stone gate was put up in 1842 by Germantown resident William Hood, who is buried here along with 41 soldiers of the Revolutionary War.

4901 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144

8. Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site

916 S Swanson St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Known to many as Old Swede's Church, this national historic site is one of the oldest churches in the nation, dating back to 1700. Swedish settlers, Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans, and sea captains are buried in the cemetery, which has been in use since the 1700s, as well.

916 S Swanson St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. Philadelphia National Cemetery

Haines Street & Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19138
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

This Germantown cemetery is one of the nation's 14 original cemeteries established in 1862. Originally, it was actually composed of numerous lots of land, used as internments for soldiers who died in nearby hospitals during the war. That makes its landscape, which was inspired by designer Frank Law Olmstead, different from the typical cemetery. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Haines Street & Limekiln Pike
Philadelphia, PA 19138

10. Greenwood Knights of Pythias Cemetery

930 Adams Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124
Courtesy of Google Streetview

In 1869, architect Thomas Levy imagined a rural cemetery with rolling hills, a lake, and natural plantings in keeping with the rural cemetery movement of the 19th-century. Those grandiose plans never happened, however, and instead this historic cemetery fell into disrepair and victim to vandalism. Today, it's under new management and is undergoing revitalization so that families can visit their loved ones buried here.

930 Adams Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19124

11. Mt. Sinai Cemetery

1901 Bridge St, Philadelphia, PA 19124

Like Mikveh Israel Cemetery (#6), Mt. Sinai Cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia, dating back to 1854. While the cemetery itself is not certified historic, the Frank Furness-designed mortuary chapel certainly is.

1901 Bridge St
Philadelphia, PA 19124

12. Byberry African American Cemetery

14700 Townsend Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19154
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places Nomination

Byberry Cemetery was only recently designated historic a few years ago. Its historic name is "Burying Place for All Free Negroes or People of Color within Byberry Twp," and it was established sometime around 1780. Today, it's a neglected lot of land overrun by foliage, but still protected by the city's Register of Historic Places.

14700 Townsend Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154

13. Fair Hill Burial Ground

2901 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133

This cemetery in Fair Hill dates all the way back to 1703, when it was founded by the Religious Society of Friends. It's had some ups and downs over the years and has changed hands over the years, but prominent abolitionists are buried here and it remains one of two Quaker burial grounds in Philly's city limits.

2901 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19133

14. Palmer Burial Ground

1400 E Palmer, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Originally known as the Kensington Burial Ground, this cemetery dates back to 1747. Wealthy merchant Anthony Palmer established it as a burial ground for residents of his neighborhood. A number of Revolutionary War heroes are laid to rest here.

1400 E Palmer
Philadelphia, PA 19125

15. Mount Vernon Cemetery

3499 W Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

This cemetery is located just across the way from the famous Laurel Hill Cemetery, but it's taken a very different path. Mount Vernon Cemetery dates back to about the same time that Laurel Hill opened. It features a prominent gatehouse that was designed by John Notman, the same architect who designed Laurel Hill's. However, the cemetery has greatly deteriorated over the years despite a group's best efforts to restore the grounds, and it is currently closed to the public. Actor Drew Barrymore's great grandfather, as well as soldiers and signers of the Declaration of Independence are laid to rest here.

3499 W Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19132

Related Maps

16. Eden Cemetery

1434 Springfield Rd, Collingdale, PA 19023
Photo by Melissa Romero

Some 90,000 African Americans are buried in Eden Cemetery, which lies just few miles outside of Philly's city limits in Collingdale. Octavius Catto's grave is here, as is architect Julian Abele, the first black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design who went onto play a major role in designing the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Little is known about the history of Eden Cemetery, despite its immense size and notable citizens buried within its 23 sections. But its ties to African-American Philadelphians of the 19th century were considered significant enough for it to be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

1434 Springfield Rd
Collingdale, PA 19023

Related Maps