St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery



Number of Burials (approximate): 2500

Dates of Activity:  1857 - present

Documentation/Publication:  The Cemeteries of Allison Township, Castanea Township, Flemington Borough and the City of Lock Haven (2008)



From the intersection of Water and Jay Streets (the courthouse in Lock Haven), travel west on Water Street for 1 mile.  Turn right at the traffic light onto Susquehanna Avenue and travel 0.4 mile.  Turn left onto Hill Street.  Travel 0.1 mile and turn left into St. Mary’s Cemetery gate on your left.

GPS Coordinates for St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery:

N41 08.677 W77 27.974

Landowner / Caretaker:

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

310 West Water Street

Lock Haven, PA 17745







With the building of the canals, many ethnic Irish who professed the Roman Catholic faith settled in the Clinton County area.  Bishop John J. Neumann came to Lock Haven on Sept. 21, 1853 and confirmed 20 people in a public hall. He returned in August 1858 and confirmed 28 more people in the temporary church and in June 1858 confirmed 27 more people. The first church was called St. Mary’s [hence St. Mary’s Cemetery] and was a small black frame building on East Bald Eagle Street.


The gift of the Water street site in 1855 stimulated the energetic young missionary to dream of erecting a handsome and imposing church in the then rapidly growing village of Lock Haven, and accordingly he set about collecting funds as he rode trough the country to his different missions. After two years he saw the work begun, and on August 19, 1857, amidst the stubble of the waving wheat field of the month before, the cornerstone was laid. The spot was an ideal one for a church, a slight rise in the ground at this point giving a commanding and unobstructed view of what was then the farm land about it with the thickly timbered pines and oak forests on the mountains in the distance, and before it the busy river laden with the logs of the West Branch boom, which had been built but a few years before in 1849. Upon the same day that the cornerstone was laid the Catholic cemetery on Susquehanna avenue [St. Mary's] was blessed. This, like Highland cemetery, was the gift of Philip M. Price, a well known benefactor of this city.  It was a struggle of six long years, however, before the church was dedicated on March 17, 1863.


There were also some German parishioners at St. Mary’s, but these largely withdrew in 1872 to form the new St. Agnes Church in Lock Haven, which later was the parish of choice for most of the Italian immigrants, cementing St. Mary’s long-term identity as an ethnic Irish parish.


St. Mary's Church was renamed Immaculate Conception and a new, magnificent structure was built in 1905.  The cemetery is maintained by the church and is still active. Its location along Hill Street (the extension of Lusk Run Road in the city limits), while in Lock Haven today, was on the very outskirts of town when the cemetery was laid out.  The cemetery slopes up a hill and extends over the other side.  It has been enlarged several times and contains about 20 acres of land.


This information was provided by Robert Russell Schadt, sexton of the cemetery, from his research and also a 1905 Lock Haven Express article commemorating the new church building.