Historic Fair Hill
Fair Hill Burial Ground is a 300-year old Quaker burial ground, a site on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beautiful, fenced, and well maintained 4.5-acres at 2900 Germantown Ave. in North Philadelphia between Lehigh & Allegheny. The final resting place of heroes and heroines of the Underground Railroad, including Lucretia Mott and Robert Purvis.
Backstory and Context
The burial ground land was owned by William Penn, George Fox, (founder of Quakerism), Green St. Meeting, Ephesians Baptist Church, and now Historic Fair Hill, Inc. The first Fair Hill meeting house (1703) served as a hospital in the Revolutionary War. The second (1883) on Cambria St. is now a Baptist church. The burial ground was expanded in the 1850’s by Friends including Lucretia and James Mott to accommodate Hicksite Quaker burials. Many reformers are buried here.
The neighborhood of working class immigrants was centered around St Bonaventure’s German Catholic Church for 100 years. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Latino and black neighborhood was decimated by the drug wars. The burial ground has been restored and has been an anchor for neighborhood redevelopment. The vibrant Latino business district is nearby on 5th St. The neighborhood still struggles with high rates of unemployment and poverty.
Historic Fair Hill has been a green oasis of peace and beauty and offers programs for greening with community gardeners and the local schools as well as offering history tours for Quakers and other visitors. HFH Volunteers feel safe and welcomed by neighbors who watch over the historic site and its programs.