Quite some time ago, I received an email about a cemetery hidden somewhere in the same park as the Bethlehem Loading Company and Estellville Glassworks ruins – it was supposed to be much older than Bethlehem. I lost the email after getting a new computer and forgot about the cemetery until it came up on a message board I read. I was given some vague directions and managed to find it. It’s not all that hidden, honestly, especially with a big green fence around it. Still a nice find though.
The way to the cemetery is surrounded with round concrete holes. Not really sure what they were.
As with many cemeteries I find, this one isn’t in great shape. Many stones are either worn down or now unreadable. The ground within the fence is spongy, and some stones are actually sinking into it.
We were able to confirm that the graveyard is significantly older than the munitions town of Bethlehem – the oldest date I saw was 1810 and Belco wasn’t built until World War I. Keep in mind the glassworks were around before Belco as well.
This footstone is sinking into the ground.
10 thoughts on ““Hidden” Cemetery in Estell Manor Park”
Thanks for posting these great pictures. I just “discovered” this cemetery on-line and it seems that it’s called the Smith Ireland Cemetery. Two of my ancestors, Japhet Ireland and his wife Mary Townsend are said to be buried there.They were the parents of Phebe Ireland, who married Richard Shaw. I am a direct descendant to Richard. His and Phebe’s house is also located in the area, called the Shaw House, which was supposedly built by his wife. Japhet and Mary are said to have died in 1810 – or, at least interred at the cemetery then. So, the cemetery is at least that old, if my information is correct.
The Smith Ireland Cemetery is my family’s cemetery which the Smith family once lived there, some where near the cemetery is the foundation of the original Smith house, which has yet to be found. My family’s history lies in Estell Manor. Yes, the cemetery is in bad shape, the county did place a fence around it and a community groups did clean it at one time. I believe that the dates on the cemetery plots may go back to the 1700’s..or earlier..my family has been in the US since the 1600’s..other relatives are buried in the Esterville Methodist Church just down the street off of Route 50..
I would love to know more about this cemetery as well as the other one in the another part of the county park.
I would love to know more about those families mentioned above.
I would love to know more about this cemetery and about those families mentioned above. as well as the other cemetery in the another part of the county park.
I also am a direct descendent of Richard Shaw, thru Arron W. to Aaron w. Jr. to Collin Campbell
to Emily Jane Shaw, my maternal grandmother. I have not been to Shaw house or Smith Ireland Cemetery but hope to get there soon. It is my understanding that Shaw house was built by Aaron Shaw, son of Richard and Pheobe, before Aaron W. moved his family to Delaware.
Thanks Stu for posting this. I grew up in that area and spent a lot of time in that park and never knew this cemetery was there. I also have 4th great grandparents, Elias Smith and Hannah Lee Smith who are buried there.
I also have reason to strongly suspect that Richard Shaw, father of Aaron was the youngest son of my 5th great grandparents, Hezekiah Shaw b. 1709 and Hannah Buck. I got good DNA matches between both my Mother and me to descendants of Hannah Bucks father and grandfather verifying the line.
If any of Richard’s descendants want to collaborate on proving or disproving this theory, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on the Smith-Ireland cemetery; the county placed a better fence around the cemetery for it’s protection. My father recently passed away, Ken Smith Sr. buried in the Veteran’s cemetery. This cemetery is part of my family’s history of living in Estell Manor, some moved to Mays Landing, all my Smith uncles are decreased, my grandfather was Arthur Smith who passed away when I was only 7 years old, I am now in my 60’s..Most likely I am related to some of you who have posted on this site.
Thank you to family members for posting here. I am not related but I am very interested in the people who are buried here. I have a family member buried in the Methodist Church cemetery down the road on Route 50. My family lived in Petersburg beginning 1901 until 1949 in one of the oldest homes in the county.
The Shaw house
Lela, I believe I am related to you through my ancestor Japhet Townsend who was born around 1775. I have not been able to find any proof but I believe Mary was part of our family and the name Japhet became part of our lineage (my middle name is Japhet). Through records I have found whom I believe his grandfather Ruddock settled in Estell Manor. Would you know any other Townsend’s there or have any family records for Mary?