~ Serving Our Community Since 1865 ~
The Bethlehem Cemetery Association was formed in 1865 when a local church voted to purchase land for a cemetery, as the cemetery on the church's grounds was running out of space.
The original Warranty Deed shows on January 29, 1866, Ancel and Charlotte D. Crocker sold a parcel of land to the Bethlehem Cemetery Association for the amount of $1,250. The land measured 26 and 66/100 acres and was bordered by the Crocker and Bender farms. Land at that time was measured in chains and links, a calibration devised in 1620 and used in land surveying. A chain was 100 links or 66 feet in length; a link was 66/100 of a foot or 7.92 inches long.
The Trustees of the Cemetery at the time of purchase were John Van Allen, J. Lansing Pearce, John H Boothe, George M Bender, John M Hotaling, Jacob Hotaling, Robert Frasier, George C Admas, and Ancel Crocker. Monuments memorializing these founding families can be seen in the historical sections of the cemetery.
Although the Cemetery was established in 1865, there are memorial stones dating prior to that year. This is due to the disinterment of remains from old church or family burial plots that were buried before 1865 and were then laid to rest in the Bethlehem Cemetery at a later date.
The remains of members from all branches of the Armed Forces have hallowed the grounds of the Bethlehem Cemetery. Deceased military personnel from the Civil War (1861-1865), World War I (1917-1918), World War II (1941-1945), Korean War (1950-1953), Viet Nam War (1965-1975), Gulf War (1990-1991), and the War on Terror (2001-present) are interred in the Cemetery.
Today, we have approximately 2 acres that have been cleared for immediate and future use. Additional acreage remains undisturbed as home to our local wildlife.