Cemeteries in Nanticoke
Nanticoke Cemetery dates back to 1877 when the Nanticoke Cemetery Association was formed. Prior to that, many burials were conducted in Hanover Green Cemetery, where you will find many of the earliest Nanticoke settlers, including the Fairchild, Line and Stewart families.
Nanticoke Cemetery is bounded on the east by a narrow brick road that separates it from St. Francis Cemetery. To the south is Field Street, Prospect Street on the west and Washington Street on the north. At the time, Washington Street was known as Cemetery Street for obvious reasons and did not become Washington Street until 1915 when Borough Hall changed the name to conform to Washington School.
In 1885, a cemetery chapel was dedicated at the center of the grounds where funeral services were conducted. It was demolished in fall of 1932 and the area divided into 20 burial lots known as Chapel Circle. While no longer thought of as Chapel Circle, this is how the area appears today.
The office of the Nanticoke Cemetery Association was at 56 Prospect Street in 1889. At the time, the cemetery comprised about 5 acres.
Officers were James Vivian (president), Brinton Jackson (secretary), Charles Dunstan (treasurer) and John Arden (sexton).
In 1903, the cemetery committee adopted a resolution that any chickens or fowl found in the Nanticoke Cemetery would be shot by the sexton.
The Sorenson/Schlanbusch lot can be found at the western end of Nanticoke Cemetery. Olga Sorenson, a native of Denmark, came to America at an early age and settled in Nanticoke. Olga studied art in Paris in the 1920’s and became an accomplished painter. She was a sister of another prominent Nanticoke resident of the era, Dr. Margaret Sorenson Schlanbusch.
The Fairchilds were among the most notable early families of Nanticoke and Newport Township. Several members can be found in Newport Cemetery and Hanover Green Cemetery.
Too many graves have fallen into disrepair over the years after families moved away or died out. This well kept grave suggests that there are still family members who visit the site from time to time.
Sara E. Winter was a graduate of Nanticoke High School, 1893. She taught two terms in public schools before enrolling in a nursing school in NYC.
Nanticoke Cemetery is dotted with neglected graves without names. This forlorn grave of a forgotten infant appears to lie alone without surrounding family members whose markers may have disappeared over the years.
Some grave markers are a mystery. Upon close examination, it is revealed that the shaft of this monument is upside down, whereas the base is correctly placed. Was the shaft damaged and accidentally misapplied after repairs, or is there some other reason for the odd anomaly?
Because the cemetery was laid on a steep hillside, the southern regions have been subject to much soil erosion and water retention and many of the markers are now irretrievably lost under ground, particularly those adorned with flat stones.
The Nanticoke Historical Society has photographed all the existing monuments in Nanticoke Cemetery and has uncovered many monuments that were in danger of disappearing under the soil over the last several decades.
Anyone who has information pertaining to family members and friends interred in the cemetery are encouraged to contact the Nanticoke Historical Society and share their memories, which will preserved in our files as part of the heritage of Nanticoke City.