The Bethel Hill Cemetery dates back to 1770 when Hans Supplee donated a small plot of land for the purpose of a place of Christian worship and burying place. Hans Supplee never saw the completion of that chapel as he died in 1770 before it was completed but was the first buried along side of the unfinished church.
As with many colonial landmarks in our area, Supplee’s chapel played its part in American history. Supplee’s chapel was used as a temporary hospital to care for the wounded soldiers of the Revolutionary War, many from the battle of Germantown. Many of them died and according to one witness, they were buried “by the cartload…unwept, un-honored and unsung.” Along with the unknown buried here, Hans’ son, Peter Supplee, a casualty of that harsh winter in Valley Forge, is also buried here. A monument to Peter was erected in 1902 by Edwin Supplee, the great–grandson of Peter. It is the tallest monument in the cemetery with the inscription “In memory of Peter Supplee, a Revolutionary Soldier, born Sept. 2, 1745, Enlisted Sept. 12, 1777, Died in camp at Valley Forge Jan 24, 1778, A Martyr to Liberty.” On the base of each side reads Supplee, Germantown, Whitemarsh, Valley Forge.
In 1845 a new church was built across the road from Supplee Chapel, as the original building was continued to be called. The original building was razed soon after. The imprint of the original chapel is still visible in the oldest section of the cemetery. A marker erected by the Gwynedd chapter NSDAR in 1975 reads, “Here lie buried unknown soldiers for the American Revolution who died in Bethel Hill church after the Battle of Germantown in 1777.”
The present cemetery is divided into 3 sections beginning with the oldest section located at the western corner of Skippack Pike and Bethel Rd. The second section was purchased from Benjamin and Sarah Brunner on November 20, 1894 for $37.80 located adjoining the original cemetery. The third and final section was purchased on July 7, 1950 from Frank E. and Maude W. Hudnut. There are 2 grave lots and 4 grave lots available for sale only to members of Bethel Hill United Methodist Church. In 2019, a space in the oldest section of the cemetery, where the original chapel was located, a columbarium was placed for the burial of funerary urns.
For a listing of stone transcriptions, follow the link below:
For more information and access to the cemetery, please contact the church office at 610-584-5936.