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Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Historic Paxton Church and Cemetery in Dauphin County

Historic Paxton Church in Dauphin County, Harrisburg Pennsylvania
The historic Paxton Church is located in Harrisburg, Dauphin County in Pennsylvania. If you're familiar with Progress Avenue, it's located nearby on Sharon Street.

The Paxton Church has their own website and they give you a nice rundown on the church's history and historical importance. It's a fascinating history that dates back to 1732 and the church is still active today. On the property you'll find several buildings, historical markers and of course...the cemetery.

From what I read online...they have quite a large congregation of about 600 members. Rev. John Green is the current Pastor and Sunday worship services begin at 10:00 AM. Adult and children's church school classes begin at 9:00 AM. There is no dress code. You can learn more about the Paxton Church and the services that they have to offer by visiting their website online.

There are 2 slightly different historical markers that are associated with Paxton Church. The first one is located right on the property at the intersection of N. Paxtang Avenue and Sharon Road. Here is what it says.
Paxton Church Historical Marker in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Paxton Church

Organized as a congregation in 1732, with William Bertram as first pastor. The second pastor was the famed "Fighting Parson," John Elder. In the churchyard are buried John Harris, Jr., William Maclay and other notables of this region.

By: 1947 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Paxton Church Historical Marker in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

There is a second historical marker regarding the church that is located at the corner of Derry Street and Wilhelm Street in Harrisburg. Here's the information from the second one, which is basically the same information on the first.

Paxton Church

A short way from here is early 18th century Paxton Church. The first pastor was installed in 1732. In the churchyard are buried John Harris, founder of Harrisburg, Senator William Maclay, and many other eminent leaders.

By: 1947 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Paxton Church Cemetery in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Located on the church property you'll see the historic cemetery which also includes historical information. There is a stone pillar with plaque that leads into the gate of the cemetery that states:

In memory of the heroes of the Revolution, Frontier Defenders and Soldiers of the French and Indian War buried in Paxton Churchyard. It then says Revolutionary War with a list of names of people buried there.
Paxton Church Cemetery Memorial French & Indian War Memorial Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Historic Paxton Church Cemetery in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Some of the names you may recognize are: John Harris 2nd, Rev. John Elder, Henry McKinney, Thomas  Wiggins, John Forster, William Maclay, James Rutherford, Samuel Rutherford, and others. I tried to get a good shot of the memorial plaque and the names contained on it.

If you enjoy visiting old and historic cemeteries, I think you'll really enjoy this one. It's extremely well-kept, beautiful and holds significant history for the city of Harrisburg and the surrounding area. There is a parking lot that you an park in and there is free off-street parking nearby.
Paxton Church History Marker in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Over by the official church buildings you'll find a historical marker & plaque that contains the following information on it:

This marker is placed on the site of the original log church building erected by the Paxton Congregation about 1716. The top stones of this marker formed a part of the building supports and were excavated on this location. A.D. 1931

By: Paxton Church Historical Society
Paxton Church Cemetery in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

As you can see from our photographs, the property is quite large in size. It's a great place to visit if you're looking to learn more about the local history in the Harrisburg area. In our personal opinion, you'll want to park your car and get out and walk around. On the day that we visited...we were the only ones there and we really learned a lot!

Note: All photographs in this feature are clickable. Double-click on each photo to have it open up in a new browsing window and in an enlarged size. This will allow you to see all of the details up close.

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