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From Revolutionary War soldiers to Mister Rogers, thousands have been buried at Unity Cemetery

Unity Cemetery in Westmoreland County marks 250 years
Unity Cemetery in Westmoreland County marks 250 years 02:37

UNITY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- A cemetery in Westmoreland County is marking its 250th anniversary this year. The cemetery is so old, more than 30 people buried there fought in the American Revolution.

When you first arrive at Unity Cemetery outside of Latrobe, it is not hard to be struck by the peace and tranquility of the place.

Of course, a calm environment is the hallmark of many a churchyard, but this hallowed ground traces its roots all the way back to before the American Revolution. In fact, some 32 people buried there fought to free us from tyrannical rule of Great Britain during the war for independence.

Mary Lou Townsend is the president of the Latrobe Area Historical Society and knows a lot about the people who are buried here. She also knows a lot about how this place came to be.

"People here at the cemetery were involved in the beginnings of the county and of the country," said Townsend. "Westmoreland County was formed in 1773 and a year later, the trustees for what was beginning to be the Unity Congregation applied for a land grant for a cemetery and meeting house. And that grant is stated March 1, 1774."

What started as a humble Presbyterian churchyard in the 1770s has grown into 200 acres. Some 15,000 people have been buried here over the last 250 years, and one of those people is still remembered fondly both locally and around the country. That person is none other than TV's Mister Rogers.

"Fred Rogers grew up in the Latrobe Presbyterian Church, which started a mission on the Unity Church back in the mid-1800s," said Townsend. "And his family had all belonged to that church and he, his grandparents and parents are all buried here at Unity."

From soldiers to a TV legend and everyone in between, Unity Cemetery stands as a memorial to both Latrobe's past and a community's proud legacy.

For more information on this place, click here

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