State rep. wants to save Mount Moriah

State Representative Ron Waters yesterday said he plans to introduce legislation this month that will protect an entity willing to take over operation of the abandoned Mount Moriah cemetery in Southwest Philadelphia from current and past outstanding liabilities.

He also said there are plans to talk to corporations, those concerned with the history of the cemetery and those who have loved ones buried there about fundraising efforts.

“If it happens in Philadelphia, it could happen in Pittsburgh; it could happen in Green County or Lancaster County,” said Waters, whose district includes the cemetery.

After years of neglect, Mount Moriah closed in March of this year. It is apparently not alone.

State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone said there are several abandoned cemeteries in the state and said a proposal to increase a dollar or two on birth and death certificates paid into a separate cemeteries fund might help those cemeteries in need, especially neglected and abandoned cemeteries.

Paulette Rhoan, a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery and whose husband is buried on the grounds, said families of those buried at Mount Moriah feel “betrayed, confused and powerless.”

“Families that have prepaid for burial lots are dazed by the thought of not being buried with their loved ones,” she said.

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