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Pleasant Valley Cemetery - Princeton, Slippery Rock Twnp, PA

Pleasant Valley Cemetery, also known as the Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery and occasionally referred to as the Herbst Farm Cemetery, is small rural burial ground located about a mile east of the village of Princeton in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Its origin dates back to about 1868, when the site became home to the newly relocated Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

German immigrants in the township began conducting Lutheran services, usually in private homes, as far back as the early 1800’s. It was not until a log cabin-style church was built in about 1825 that the congregation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded. In 1862, in the midst of the American Civil War, the congregation was reorganized under the Reverend A.H. Waters as the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

A new church was built to the west and closer to the village of Princeton, a settlement founded by John Randolph in 1841 and named after his father’s hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. It was built on property deeded to the church from local resident George Herbst on December 27, 1934. The new brick church opened in 1868 and the surrounding grounds began to be utilized as a burial ground for the parishioners. Oddly enough, by an oversight, it was not until October 1905 that the old deed for the property was actually filed with the Lawrence County court.

In July 1920, for whatever reason, a charter was filed with the Lawrence County court to incorporate the Pleasant Valley Cemetery Association to manage the affairs of the small cemetery surrounding the church. Perhaps the church did so to open the cemetery up for profit or just sold it off outright? It’s at the time that the name Pleasant Valley first becomes commonly associated with the cemetery.

Meanwhile, the little church continued to thrive and had its own Sunday school and a missionary society. The congregation celebrated its centennial anniversary with an afternoon picnic and service at the church on Thursday, September 24, 1925. The church remained in use until about 1943, when the dwindling congregation was probably merged into another Lutheran church. The exact fate of the church seems difficult to determine but it was torn down at some later date.

The small cemetery, located alongside Mill Bridge Road and overshadowed by a large limestone mining quarry operated by Quality Aggregates Inc., is well kept and still in use to this day. Among those buried there are William Allison (1833-1925), Jacob Boyer (1834-1919), and Thomas Taylor (1846-1931), three Civil War veterans that served with the distinguished 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment – commonly known as the “Roundheads.”

To read about the burial of nineteen-year-old Laura Hogue at the cemetery in April 1899 click on: YOUNG WOMAN DEAD ARTICLE. To learn more about the old deed from the Herbst property being recorded in the Lawrence County court in October 1905 click on: OLD DEED RECORDED ARTICLE. To read about the church service and burial of a local widower named Sarah Elliott in April 1915 click on: MRS ELLIOTT BURIED ARTICLE. To about the death of Civil War veteran Jacob Boyer in September 1919 click on: FORMER RESIDENT DEAD ARTICLE. To view the notice for an application to charter the Pleasant Valley Cemetery Association in 1920 click on: CHARTER NOTICE. To read a short mention about the burial of Mrs. Silas Young in August 1922 click on: YOUNG BURIAL ARTICLE.


An old cement block storage building on the cemetery grounds. (Jul 2010)


The small cemetery sits in a rural area just alongside McConnells Mill-Eckert Bridge Road. If you follow this road down a bit you will come to the village of Princeton. (Jul 2010)


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Up above and behind the cemetery sits a large strip mine. (Jul 2010)


This cemetery has been around for many years, but the Pleasant Valley Cemetery Association was incorporated back in 1920. (Jul 2010)


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Comment

  1. Thank you for this posting. My Grandparents (Gerald & Ella Harlan) and my Great Grandparents (William & Carrie Harlan)are buried in Pleasant Valley.
    Thanks again,
    Jim Myers

    James Myers · 11/16/2012 08:27 PM · #

  2. The stone Leatha F. Starcher is my grandmother. She is the mother-in-law of
    Robert W. Eckert whose grave is just on the
    other side of the driveway.

    Karen Kern · 07/25/2013 05:47 PM · #

  3. I think my gramdfather, Frank J Englehart might be buried here. How could I find that out? Thanks for an help

    Sue · 08/26/2014 02:11 PM · #

  4. Found this write up while doing research on my grandfather:

    New Castle News
    June 18, 1948
    PUBLIC SALE—June 26, 1948, 12:30
    p.m. Large church building, in good
    condition, size 40×56-ft., 16-lt. to square;
    green slate TOO!, white pine flooring.
    Located In Slippery Rock Twp., Lawrence County, on
    Princeton-McConnells
    Mill road. 90-days to be removed from
    premises. Terms: 10% down, balance
    in 30 days to Trustees, Pleasant Valley
    Cemetery Association.
    Treasurer Everett Taylor, R. D. No 6, New Castle,
    Pa- Secretary, Gerald Harlan. Ellwood
    City R, D. No. 1. Pa. Arthur West
    auctioneer, phone Slippery Rock, 3223.

    Jim Myers · 09/04/2015 09:30 AM · #