Long Level’s Dritt burial place: ‘The cemetery is a tangle of weeds and mile-a-minute vines’

Dritt Cemetery Tombstones.jpg
A cleanup is set Saturday for the Dritt Cemetery in new Native Lands County Park. “Presently the cemetery is a tangle of weeds and mile-a-minute vines,” a Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area release states. Background posts: 400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay and For years, York countians have eyed amazing, destructive Susquehanna River ice jams and Petroglyphs, American Indian carvings, almost forgotten treasure.

Local Native Americans will be cleaning up a historic cemetery at the new Native Lands County Park, in York County, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 25.
According to a Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area release:
The park contains the site of last Susquehannock village and its associated cemeteries, and it also contains the Dritt family cemetery.
The Lancaster-York Native Heritage Advisory Council has organized the Dritt Cemetery clean up because it believes all of the burials deserve there need to be respected.
Members of the Dritt/Tritt family have experienced difficulties in maintaining the cemetery over the years… .


Dritt Cemetery.jpg

The Dritt family was also “native” to the land, York’s eleventh county park. The Jacob Dritt Mansion lies a short distance down the hill from the cemetery.
The stone house that is now the John & Kathryn Zimmerman Center for Heritage and home to the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area is believed to have been built in the 1730s or 1740s.
It became known as the “Dritt Mansion” when Capt. Jacob Dritt resided there from 1773 to1817.
Jacob Dritt, who fought with militia from York in the American Revolution, drowned in the Susquehanna River in December 1817. His body was later found on a plantation in Maryland and is believed to have been buried there.
Jacob’s wife, Elizabeth, and seven of their children, are buried in the cemetery.
Six other known burials of Dritt family members spanning four generations are buried there. The last was Emanuel Dritt who died in 1879.
A hiking trail that runs through the park is now open to the public and accessible from the adjacent Klines Run Park.
The cemetery is accessible via a short path from the rear of the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area office located at 1706 Long Level Road, south of Wrightsville.
For further details about this public event, click here.
Photos courtesy of Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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3 Responses to Long Level’s Dritt burial place: ‘The cemetery is a tangle of weeds and mile-a-minute vines’

  1. Blake M. Stough says:

    Interesting post. I never knew this county park was even there, and when searching online, there was very little information about it on the York County website.
    I’m glad there is a group that will be cleaning up the cemetery. It will take some time to do so, but once complete, should be easier to maintain over time.
    Will the county be responsible for maintaining it in the future since it is within their park?

  2. Carl Fehrenbach says:

    Sat. 7/25/09 about 8:30 AM.
    I got out early to walk the trail from Klines Run Park to Bank Hill Rd.& back to my car. I wanted to see our new $23,000,000 park. Not knowing of the work planned, I was pleasantly surprised to find a group doing a great job cleaning-up the Dritt Cemetery. My hat is off to the volunteers.

  3. Ned Mayo says:

    As a boy, in the 1940s, I spent my summers at Long Level and roamed the nearby hills. I well remember the old cemetery — overgrown with shrubs, brush, and vines.
    I remembered the name Dritt, and found this excellent site with a search engine. My hat is off to the volunteers who preserved this bit of history.
    NHM, Whitefish, MT

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