Brief History of the Immaculate Conception Cemetery

Immaculate Conception Cemetery was established in 1854 and has been associated with the Immaculate Conception Parish Church (1853) in Mauch Chunk since that time. It is not clear, at this point, who was first to be buried in the cemetery or when that burial took place. At least in old Mauch Chunk newspapers, the cemetery is referred to as Immaculate Conception cemetery, the Coalport cemetery and the Catholic cemetery, depending on the time period.

Perhaps, for the researcher, one of the most important "facts" about this cemetery is that it suffered fires on at least one occasion as indicated in an article in the Mauch Chunk Democrat for May 9, 1903:

"The fire in the forest in the vicinity of the Immaculate Conception cemetery got inside and burned everything from grasses to fences around the plots and and (sic) headboards, leaving about one half of the cemetery a blackened waste and causing several hundred dollars worth of damages."

This was one of two articles in this issue, the other indicating that the fence around the cemetery had been destroyed a few days before during one of the forest fires.

This fire (and others, if there were any), in addition to weather, could be responsible for the large number of damaged stones in the older section (section 1 on the map). "Headboard' usually refers to markers of wood and so a good number of graves which are obvious today but without markers could well have had markers before the fire. Some of these headboards were probably replaced with more permanent marble/granite headstones, but others not.

Reports are that the cemetery was not kept in the best of conditions, at least during the 1940s through 1960s. Since the 1970s, it appears, though, that the cemetery was put "in order" and today the grounds are very well maintained.