Glassport, Pennsylvania

Coursin or Rhodes Cemetery

Sight of the Coursin/Rhodes Cemetery in Coursin Hollow.

View from adjacent hill about 1/4 ways up from the hollow road.

This hollow was originally known as Peach Hollow, over 200 years ago. It was later known as Frantz's Hollow and finally Coursin Hollow.

At one time it was used as the Glassport dump.

It is located approximately a third of a mile south of the Glassport-Clairton bridge, off Glassport-Elizabeth road. The cemetery is located just at the beginning of the hollow to the north of the hollow road and to the east of Glassport-Elizabeth road. It is not in Glassport but just to the south of the Glassport border in Lincoln Township.

Date of Picture 4/29/2000.


The following material was taken from the Port Vue Centennial 1892-1992.

Coursin - Rhodes Cemetery

Another old and virtually unknown graveyard is located in Coursin Hollow, just south of the Clairton Bridge. Some sources tell of two separate burial grounds in the area one called Coursin's - containing 250 graves, and the other called Rhodes' - a private plot containing only two graves. Most likely, the Rhodes plot was located within the larger. To further complicate the problem of names, a map of 1900 lists the site as Beulah Cemetery.

The age is uncertain, possibly predating 1800. Only two burials are known for sure; Conrad and Frederick Rhodes, both served in the Revolutionary War, dying in 1832 and 1836 respectively. Among others thought to be interred are: some of the Edmundson, Martins, Lynchs, Forsyths, Pollocks, Phillips, Painter, Harpers, Eakins, Boyds and Witherows. Also members of two Indian families -are presumed to be buried there.

Many years ago the county used the burial ground as a dump site and covered the graves with 4-6 feet of dirt. There is a story that some of the tombstones were removed and built into the foundations of a house or houses in Coursin Hollow.

A recent search in May 1992 revealed only the base of one tombstone and the bottom half of another - still upright - with no trace of an inscription.


McKeesport Daily News 6/3/1927

USE OLD CEMETERY FOR REFUSE DUMP

The old burial ground at Coursin hollow, Lincoln township, on the river road, between Glassport and Elizabeth is being used as a dumping ground for refuse, according to reports received here.. It is said that ashes, old tin cans, and refuse of almost every description are being dumped in the cemetery, in a number of cases practically covering the tombstones.

The bodies of many of the prominent pioneers of the district are interred in the burial grounds, which are divided into two sections, one known as the Rhoades and the other as the Frantz cemeteries. The township commisioners were notified of the condition and instructed the road supervisors to investigate.


McKeesport Daily News 3/26/1928

CEMETERY HOLDING PIONEERS' REMAINS IS IN USE AS DUMP

Gradually graves and headstones of a dozen or more pioneers of the Monongahela valley people who in primitive days resided in and near territory which is now Glassport and Elizabeth, are being covered by wrecked automobile bodies, tin boilers and cans, old upholstery and rubbish of other kinds, and possibly some garbage.

What will be done about this unwarranted condition remains to be seen.

The scene of this condition is a hollow in Lincoln township a short distance above the new Glassport-Clairton bridge on the Glassport side of the Monongahela river. The hollow had numerous names. Old-timers say it was first known as Peach Hollow. This was more than 150 years ago, when Frederick Rhodes, who died in 1836, owned the land. Later, H. L. Frantz acquired it and it was known as Frantz's Hollow. Later the Coursins bought the land and it was called Coursin Hollow.

In the little cemetery, on the hillside, close to the river road, an observer will find headstones broken and scattered about. A few are leaning. Others are laying flat. Lettering has been chipped from some. How many graves have been completely covered by rubbish is not known. A road has been built into the hollow and trucks from various places use the place as a dumping ground. From the new made dirt road, as it widens, rolls all kinds of stuff to slowly obliterate the graves of pioneers at the side.

Much of the lettering on the headstones cannot be read, but a representative of the Daily News yesterday made a note of several names. One headstone bears the name of William Henry, "son of D. & J. Henry."

Another bears the name of Elizabeth Rhoads, daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth Rhoads, the date of death being 1827.

The next headstone bears the name of Casse Roads. She is noted as the " consort of John Roads," the date of death being 1838.

Another headstone bears the following " Fred and Elizabeth Rhodes," the former dying in 1836 and the latter in 1854. (Note that another change in the spelling was made.)

Another stone bears the name of Savannah Bell, who died in 1859, and another bears the name of Mary Ann Edmundson, wife of Thomas Edmundson, who died in 1855.

The reporter came to another stone, evidently that of a member of a family mentioned before, but again the spelling was different, indicating that marble works employes used their own method. This stone was the grave of "Conrad Roads," who died June 2, 1832, at the age of 89 years.

None of the old-timers about the place knew the names of the present owners of the property. The Coursins disposed of it many years ago. The place was a private burying ground, in that there was no cemetery association and the landowners from time to time, no doubt, gave neighbors permission to bury their dead there.

It is expected that a movement will be started to compel greater respect for all that remains of these pioneers.


April 27, 2000

I visited the cemetery at Coursin hollow in the early summer of 1998. At that time, there was only one gravestone lying flat on the ground. The cemetery is located just at the entrance to Coursin hollow, across the creek from the road.

A friend of mine Ralph J. Martino, who has since passed away, remembered playing in that area as a child during the late twenties and early thirties. He said that there were tombstones all the way up into the hill at that time.

R. A. Uher


More coming as more material is discovered.


Page last updated April 29, 2000