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The Long Process Of Restoring The Historic Mt. Moriah Cemetery

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- There's a new deal on the horizon for a historic, border-straddling cemetery that took years to fall into disrepair and will likely need years to mount a comeback.

It is just one of the pricklier aspects of Mt. Moriah Cemetery that is lies both in Philadelphia and Yeadon, so there are two political perspectives on what needs to be done with the place. Brian Abernathy, the new president of the Mt. Moriah Cemetery Preservation Corporation, says it's one of a kind in PA.

"This is the largest cemetery that we know of that has been abandoned and left to die on the vine, for lack of a better term, that has been complicated by the history surrounding the site, by the political infrastructure surrounding the site and just by how truly bad conditions were at the site," he said.

Abernathy says, among the short-term issues are tracking assets and liabilities, going through hundreds of thousands of records dating back to the 1850's and dealing with the needs of families who may want loved ones remains moved in or out.

Abernathy says the cemetery was placed in his in-box when he worked in the Managing Director's Office, but he took it with him to his new job in part because he was so impressed with the quality of civic leadership being brought to bear to rescue Mt. Moriah.

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