|Joey Reilly plants flowers before the grave stones he helped discover (Photo: Paulette Rhone)|
On March 28, 2015, “Park Day,” the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Inc. sponsored a cleanup and restoration event in this sprawling, formerly abandoned cemetery (you can read about the history of Mount Moriah at the link at the end). America’s national “Park Day,” is sponsored by the Civil War Trust, and while it is mainly about saving historic Civil War battlefields, it also encompasses related historic sites. Mount Moriah Cemetery is sacred in that hundreds of Civil War soldiers and sailors are interred here.
|Joey Reilly beginning to clear weeds from around the Brady headstone|
From the Civil War Trust website:
"Since 1996, the Civil War Trust has sponsored Park Day, an annual hands-on preservation event to help Civil War — and now Revolutionary War — battlefields and historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. Activities are chosen by each participating site to meet their own particular needs and can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and trail buildings."
As I showed the Reillys the Brady head stone, Joey started poking in the dirt with a small shovel exposing pieces of marble. He asked me what this was. I explained to him that over the years, grave markers and parts of monuments fall and are buried by natural soil erosion. I told him that what he was poking at might very well be a headstone of someone in Mary Brady’s family. I left them to explore as I went off to photograph other events in different sections of the grounds.
|Joey Reilly examines the headstone of the Brady children|
|Civil War Nurse Mary Brady's original headstone; 1990s-era replacement stone at rear (photo P. Rhone)|
When the 28th Pennsylvania Historical Association of the Sons of Union Veterans decided to honor Mary Brady’s memory in the 1990s by having a new grave marker carved and installed, it probably did not occur to them that the original stone lay but a few inches underground. Today, the original stands proudly before the substitute, but oddly, bearing different dates! The original shows Brady's life dates as 1821-1864, while the original shows 1822-1864. Ah, the mysteries of cemeteries ….. !
The Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Inc. Facebook Group Page