Washington County, PA

Raccoon Cemetery

Candor, Washington County, PA

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this page was last updated 28 May 2010

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(contributed by Gary L. Caldwell)

Lat: 40 23' 37"N, Lon: 80 18' 26"W
Robinson Township

     Directions from Midway PA: Drive northeast on Prospect Street. Take the 1st left onto Washington Avenue and continue onto Midway Candor Road for about 2 miles. Turn right onto Candor Road. The church and cemetery are on the right.

     According to "History of Raccoon Church, Candor, Pa., 1778-1899" by Margaret S. Sturgeon, published about 1899 and Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882), the land on which the church and cemetery are located was part of a tract taken up by Col. Samuel Beelor on a Virginia certificate in 1780, he having settled there in 1774. The cause of the settlement of people at this place was that the Raccoon Church was located here. But few habitations were erected here before 1817. This cemetery was established in 1790.

     The church and associated cemetery is located in Robinson Township, in the northern part of Washington County. It derives its name from a creek called "the Raccoon" as the congregation is situated on the head-waters of that stream. Raccoon was one of the oldest churches in Western Pennsylvania. According to a sign at the beginning of the cemetery, it was begun about 1790 but the historical records indicated that the first person buried in this cemetery was Mrs. Martha Bigger, who died in a fort located on Miller's Run, where the family had fled for safety from the predatory excursions of the Indians. A stone tablet marks her grave bearing the date of May 20th, 1780.

     The location of this church in the then wilderness was, no doubt, determined by its proximity to Beilor's Fort, whose location has been pointed out by our forefathers as standing immediately southeast of the cemetery.

(contributed by Gary L. Caldwell)

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