History

Fair Hill Burial Ground and its surrounding neighborhood are located on Germantown Avenue, a street that was once a Lenni Lenape trade route. When Europeans colonized the area, it became a major thoroughfare between Philadelphia and the outlying rural areas.

The land which is now Historic Fair Hill was part of a large territory given by William Penn to his friend George Fox, the English founder of Quakerism. On his death in 1691 he left this plot to American Quakers for use as “a stable, a Meetinghouse and burying place.” At that time, the area consisted of farmland and wooded area outside of the Philadelphia city limits.

In 1703, the original Meeting House was built. In the years from then until the present, the land saw great change as the city grew around it.

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The Quaker burial ground was used from 1703 until the 1960s. It was one of the first racially integrated cemeteries in Philadelphia. Amongst those buried are many prominent women’s rights activists and abolitionists from the 18th and 19th centuries. Click on any image below to view our interment records or to read about some of the famous people interred here.
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