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16 votes

Mount Moriah Cemetery

6299 Kingsessing Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19142 USA

Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Tue 9a
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
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“historic & neglected cemetery”

You’d never guess that Philly is home to a 400 acre abandoned cemetery, that’s not only Pennsylvania’s biggest graveyard, it’s also technically not owned… by anyone. 

Originally established in the 1800s,Mt. Moriah Cemetery was only 54 acres, but over the years grew to encompass over 380 acres, and hundreds of burial plots. The unforgettable Romanesque entrance and abandoned gatehouse, makes it one of the most recognizable graveyards ever… you know, if you’re into that kinda thing, of course.  The last person to be buried on the grounds was the only remaining member of the Mount Moriah Cemetery Association, and with that, the massive graveyard fell into complete disarray. Today much of the cemetery is completely abandoned. The overgrown plants, toppled headstones, and crumbling mausoleums make it something right out of a Tim Burton movie. 

It’s easy to get lost inside the cemetery, so make sure when you visit you and your pals have a buddy system worked out. Other than that, bring your camera because there’s quite literally a photo-op around every corner. It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in PA, and with fall in full swing, you couldn’t pick a more perfect time of year to take a stroll.  -Roadtrippers

Established in the early 1800's, this cemetery was the original resting place for Betsy Ross and her husband until they were relocated the the Ross House in 1975.  In the mid and late 1800's many cemeteries in the city were relocated to Mt. Moriah Cemetery.  The cemetery also is home to a National Cemetery, the Mount Moriah Naval Cemetery Soldier's Lot.

Mount Moriah Cemetery is a historic cemetery in southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along Cobbs Creek. It was incorporated on March 27, 1855 and established by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature. The cemetery, which originally occupied 54 acres (22 ha), was among a number of cemeteries established along the "rural ideal" popular at that time. An ornate Romanesque entrance and gatehouse were built of brownstone on Islington Lane, today known as Kingsessing Avenue.

Mount Moriah Cemetery held a notable place among Philadelphia's grand rural cemeteries like Laurel Hill Cemetery and the Woodlands Cemetery. It was easily accessible by streetcar. Over time, Mount Moriah grew to 380 acres (150 ha), spanning Cobbs Creek into the Borough of Yeadon in adjacent Delaware County, making it the largest cemetery in Pennsylvania.

For several years the cemetery has suffered from neglect and the ownership and management responsibilities of the cemetery have been in a state of confusion. Two military plots dating back to the Civil War are well cared for by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Horatio Jones, who was the last known member of the Mount Moriah Cemetery Association, died in 2004 and the cemetery closed its gates in 2011. An employee of the Association may have conducted business operations without proper authority from 2004-2011. Having no known owner, the cemetery may be in a unique legal situation in the United States. Several volunteer cleanup days have been organized by a private group, Friends of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, and progress has been made to returning the cemetery to normal condition, but, as of January 2013, the legal situation is unresolved. Expected annual maintenance costs are about $500,000.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 9 Helpful
November 17, 2014

As a Board of Directors member of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Inc. I'd like to address a few of the comments. Some of this is recent information, so it may seem contradictory to what you may see on other internet sources. (1) You don't need permission to enter. Mount Moriah is open daily from 9am to dusk. All are welcome. (2) It is privately owned by the Mount Moriah Cemetery Preservation Corporation. (3) Street address is 6299 Kingsessing Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19142. (4) The cemetery, which is half in Philadelphia and half in Yeadon, PA, is bordered by commercial and residential inner city neighborhoods. Regarding safety, the grounds are not currently staffed or secured, but are patrolled by local police.
Please see FOMMCI website for more information and inquiries: http://friendsofmountmoriahcemetery.org/

9 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
February 18, 2015
Rated 5.0

Beautiful. Easily accessible. If you think this is in a bad part of Philly, you're clearly not from a city. I went alone (I'm female) and felt perfectly safe.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Macy Beach

  • 4 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
December 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

This cemetery is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l and goes on forever, head into the woods and there a long road with branches going to open patches with graves don't worry about not being able to get in we just went around a road block and no one seemed to care. Only thing to worry about is that the cemetery is not in the "best part" of Philly but we had no issues. Worth a visit :)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
December 07, 2014

Go onto their Facebook page. It will take you a whole evening to look through the Photographs of progress....its really fabulous.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 16, 2014

I saw at some point that the group that organizes the cleanup does tours. There's also a local photographer that takes people with permission from the group.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
November 05, 2014

I don't see how they can stop you from "visiting" a cemetery. If one of your relatives are buried there, you should be able to visit, right?

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 03, 2014

can we get an address ?!

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Mount Moriah Cemetery

6299 Kingsessing Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19142 USA


Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
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