Free Historic Prospect Hill Sunday Tours

Tours are available at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. All dates and times are subject to change at the descretion of the Foundation. Follow @HistoricPHC for updates and tour info!

Click here for tour information or to reserve a spot on an upcoming tour

Explore the rich history of York County written in stone at Prospect Hill!

The stories of Prospect Hill and Greenmount Cemeteries and Cremation Gardens is the story of York County. From veterans to civilians, many prominent York families have chosen this sacred ground for their family burial estates. With over 60 acres still to be developed, the future for this community treasure promises to be as distinguished as its past. In 2008, the Historic Prospect Hill Cemetery Heritage Foundation (HPHCHF) was granted 501(c)(3) status. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation is dedicated to preserving the historic heritage of Prospect Hill Cemetery (PHC).

The local Reformed Church of York, Pennsylvania, chartered PHC in 1849. The first burial in the cemetery took place two years later. Soon after, burials in other local cemeteries began to be re-interred in PHC. Today there are more than 90,000 interments in the 170-acre cemetery. One of the oldest people buried at PHC, Anna from Moravian Church, passed in 1735! Anna was most likely moved from a different cemetery and interred to Prospect Hill Cemetery with the thought that Prospect Hill would remain long into the future. This year we celebrate our 168th anniversary and hold true to ideals of honor and remembrance for all.

Notable Persons at PHC

⦁ Commander William Buel Franklin
⦁ Congressman Philip Livingston
⦁ Thomas Shipley
⦁ George Washington Pfaltzgraff
⦁ Ralph Cannon
⦁ S. F. Glatfelter
⦁ Dr. J. Frank Small
⦁ Daniel K. Noell
⦁ Mary “Mammy” Ruggles
⦁ Col. James A. Stahle
⦁ John Henry Denig
⦁ Sergeant Charles Henry Ilgenfritz
⦁ Private Jacob Horlebein
⦁ Arthur B. Farquhar
And Many More!

Victorian Symbolism

Here are some common symbols and their meanings, how many can you find at PHC?

⦁ Anchor – Hope
⦁ Angel – the Agent of God
⦁ Baby’s Chair – Unfulfilled lives of children and inability to achieve adulthood
⦁ Book – Faith, learning to read and write
⦁ Harp – Associated with David in the Old Testament; Symbolic of worship in heaven
⦁ Draped Urn – Sorrow
⦁ Woman with or without Bible pointing upward – Faith
⦁ Triangle, Trefoil and Triquetre forms – Holy Trinity, Wisdom and Eye of God
⦁ White Dove – Christian Holy Spirit
⦁ Butterfly – Although rare, occasionally seen on children’s graves representing the resurrection of Christ

Court of Valor and Safekeepers Shrine

⦁ Veteran’s monument dedicated in 2009
⦁ Servicemen and women honored for receiving medals for valor or sacrifice
⦁ Stands at 13-by-11-feet with 15,000-pound granite archway that holds a 6-by-10-foot American flag
⦁ The I-Beam was escorted into York County on 9/11/2009 to commemorate the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
⦁ After nine years of inductions, there are 390 names inscribed on the monument’s granite columns
⦁ Applications for inclusions are welcomed from September through July 1st
⦁ Ceremony held the first Sunday after 9/11

Community Mausoleum Restoration

⦁ Project led by the Foundation
⦁ Construction began in 1914 and was dedicated in 1915
⦁ The first entombment was Civil War Veteran, Lewis E. Smyser
⦁ The idea of above-ground burial was attractive to many of York’s most prominent citizens

Thank you for touring Prospect Hill Cemetery and Cremation Gardens!
For more information on tours please email info@prospecthill.org or register at tours@prospecthill.org