Historic Franklin Preservation Association
Preserving the Architectural Heritage of Franklin, Pennsylvania
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Franklin Pioneer Cemetery


In 1795 the town of Franklin was laid out and a portion of land set aside as a burial ground. By the mid 1800s the cemetery extended from the bank of French Creek to Elk Street due to purchases of lots by Myron Park and Benjamin Alexander. In the late 1830s Mr. Alexander began selling burial plots in the area adjacent to Elk Street. In 1851 a plot map was drawn and the purchases recorded.

The first burial recorded is that of 27 year old Michael Hulings who drowned in French Creek in 1797. His father, Marcus Hulings was the first French Creek ferryman. The location of his burial is assumed to be in the far NW corner where a replacement marker has been erected.

Over several decades bodies were removed from this cemetery to the new Franklin Cemetery. Records are not complete for that time period therefore research is ongoing for the burials, marked and unmarked at this historic burial ground.

Deplorable conditions of the cemetery were noted in the local newspapers during the first half of the 1900s

"....every community has some blemish, and Franklin must plead guilty to one offense in this instance is the neglected, desecrated grave-yard at the upper end of the city..." John J. McLaurin, August 7, 1900, Derrick Newspaper (read entire article at http://venango.pa-roots.com/cemeterypioneer.html).

In 1953 the Venango Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution began a project of restoring many of the markers and assisting the city in maintaining the grounds. The project has continued with the combined efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Venango County Historical Society and the Historic Franklin Preservation Association.

The Franklin Pioneer Cemetery is located at the corner of Otter and Fifteenth streets.