MUNICIPALITY:  Bald Eagle Township

CEMETERY NAME:  Brown Cemetery



Number of Burials (approximate): 300

Dates of Activity:  1820 - 1941

Documentation/Publication:  The Cemeteries of Bald Eagle Township, Beech Creek Township, and Beech Creek Borough (2005)



From Mill Hall, travel west on Route 150 toward Beech Creek.  After passing the traffic light intersection with Lusk Run Road, continue on Route 150 for approximately 0.2 mile.  Brown Cemetery will be on your left, down over the hill, next to a junkyard.  To access the cemetery, turn onto Crystal Beach Road and drive down to the parking area in front of the cemetery.

N41 06.334 W77 30.449

Landowner / Caretaker:

Brown Cemetery

Mill Hall, PA 17751



Very Good



Among the earliest settlers of Bald Eagle Township were George and John Brown.  They purchased land from Job Packer in 1818.  On his land, John Brown appears to have laid out a graveyard.  It appears that the first burials date to the 1820s.  No Browns are known to be interred here, however.  John Brown moved to Pine Creek Township where he died in 1854; his land was sold, but no indication of a cemetery on the property is noted in deeds.  George Brown is buried in Hays-Fearon Cemetery with his wife's family.  A burial record from 1853 refers to "John Brown's Cemetery."

It appears that Brown Cemetery was established as a community cemetery and was open to all.  Probably a large number of the earliest residents of the Mill Hall area were buried here.  It is said that a large number of graves were removed from the cemetery and transferred to Cedar Hill Cemetery in Lamar Township after it opened in 1869.  This could account for the large open spots in the present cemetery.

A schoolhouse was built in front of the cemetery and for many years was known as Brown's school.  This may have been the property which was deeded by John and Phianna Brown,and several members of the Fearon family, to the Bald Eagle School District, on 19 June 1843.  The school closed many years ago, and has since been torn down.  It has also been said that the Welsh family were connected with this schoolhouse before the Brown involvement.

The cemetery was supported over the years by the Welsh family, who buried some of their dead there.  In her 1887 will, Sarah Miller Stover, a descendant, left "$150 to be put at interest for the purpose of keeping the burying ground in Bald Eagle Twp., known as 'Brown's,' in good and respectable appearances."  The Welsh family were among those later transferred to Cedar Hill.  It was said that one of the family, Asenath Welsh, was found to have been petrified in the cemetery's sandy soil.

The cemetery has also been called "Brown's Hill Cemetery."

In more recent years a sizable bequest to the cemetery for maintenance purposes resulted in a trust being established to keep the cemetery mowed.  An agreement was made with the caretakers of Sunnyside Cemetery for this purpose.  A sign on the cemetery indicates that the original board of directors for the "Brown Cemetery Company" consisted of D. S. Dickey, A. D. Muthler, and Z. W. Strunk.Efforts to locate the articles of incorporation, however, have been unsuccessful.  The sign also indicates that the cemetery is closed to all future burials.

It has been stated by more than one person that when the cemetery was cleaned up after having been in disrepair for such a long period, the caretaker moved stones out of the way to clean and put them back later where he thought they went.  This should be taken into consideration when visiting gravesites, that stones may not mark graves exactly.

The cemetery received its final burial in 1941 (Annie May Miller), but really received only a handful of burials after about 1910.  It is on a fairly steep hill with a flat area on top, and the soil there is remarkably sandy in composition.

References:      Historical information from Vivian J. Welch; Lola Welsh Wallace papers; Centre County, PA Deed Book F, p 37; Clinton County, PA Deed Book B, p 549; G, p 285-286; sign on Brown Cemetery.