Memorial Day project: Frontier Girls restore cemetery

Frontier Girls Troop 576 worked very hard this spring to restore headstones at Mountain Green Cemetery in Greene Township. Aided by community volunteers, they cleared debris and cleaned the old cemetery, identified veterans graves and researched the cemetery’s history. .

Now they invite the community to join them at noon Monday in Commemoration of Decoration/ Memorial Day as they honor and remember the 18 military veterans laid to rest there in a special ceremony. Rep. Rob Kauffman will be a special guest of the troop for the event.

A fitting tribute

“It’s unfortunate that Mountain Greene Cemetery was terribly neglected for many decades,” Kauffman said.

He called it gratifying to see the troop step up to do something about it.

“The identification of those buried at this location, as well as the beautification and restoration of the cemetery, is a fitting tribute to our veterans who have been laid to rest here,” he said. “Honoring our fallen this Memorial Day at Mountain Greene Cemetery, as the FGT576 beautification is unveiled, is a perfect ending to their project of remembrance.”

Please bring your own lawn chair if you attend the service. Limited parking is available at the site at 2702 Stillhouse Hollow Road, just off White Church Road near Scotland.

Please bring a dish to share at a covered dish picnic to follow at Caledonia State Park.

Your RSVP is very much appreciated to help accommodate everyone who wants to attend. For more information please reach out to: frontiergirls17202@gmail.com.

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Restoration goal

The troop, aided by adult volunteers including Chambersburg Council Man Dom Brown, has worked very hard to restore the Mountain (Fiddler) Green Cemetery.

“It is our desire to increase public awareness of this cemetery,” troop leader Cathy Goetz said of the project.

The goal is to preserve the old, run down cemetery and its history for future generations.

Historical insight

Many stories still circulate about “The Hollow” (Still House AND Devil’s Alex).

“We have been able to validate and/or provide supporting documentation to many of those stories,” Goetz said. “This cemetery, like so many others like it, holds valuable historical insight and deep reminders of those buried here.”

She said it gives a glimpse into the triumphs and trials, spiritual beliefs, lifestyles and family bonds that shaped these folks, their families and communities in their lifetime.

“Here, we also are able to find clues about the earliest settlements in this area,” she said.

That research includes supporting documents showing about 165 individuals laid to rest at Mountain (Fiddler) Green.

After taking on the project, the troop acquired a map, dated 1935, that marked out 167 burial plots. Using that map, the troop verified gravesites of six Civil War Veterans, three of them from the USCT. They also discovered that one widow whose husband served with 54th Mass. The cemetery is the final resting place of veterans from USCT Regiment, as well as two WWI Veterans, four WW2 Veterans, one KIA Memorial, and a Non-Combat Veteran.

The troop also discovered five additional medallions of now unknown names.

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Vandalism, disrespect

“Sadly, over the past 40-plus years, the cemetery suffered vandalism and disrespect,” Goetz said. “Multiple headstones were destroyed or stolen. Rebar was also stolen from headstones.”

She considers the entire tract of land hallowed and wants it treated as such.

Frontier Girls
The Chief Tree (All Photos courtesy Frontier Girls Troop 576)

According to Mike Hoover of the Historical Society, the cemetery is home to a big oak tree that legend has it is a symbolic tree. According to legend, an Indian Chief is buried under the branches of the tree.

Frontier Girls and volunteers cleared the area around the tree. Drsignated the “Chief Tree,” it now has mulch around it.

To help finance the Operation Remember, Restore and Honor project, troop members have solicited donations from local businesses and sold hoagie and pizza tickets.

See the cemetery’s history at Operation Remember and Honor FGT576 Friends of the Forgotten.

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