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Works Project Administration – Articles from Rockingham County

CEMETERIES

1. SUBJECT:
The Blosser Graveyard.

2. LOCATION:
Three miles northeast of Dayton, Virginia, north of the highway.

3. DATE:
1835.

4. OWNERS:
The Blosser descendants.

5. DESCRIPTION:
The graveyard is in very good condition, being kept up mostly by Jonas T. Blosser, of Dayton, Virginia, who
has a grandfather and a great-grandfather buried there. Mr. Blosser is now seventy-nine years old. It is enclosed
with a limestone wall about four feet high and fifteen or eighteen inches thick with an iron gate entrance in the
southwest corner of the wall. The graveyard is now full and has long been abandoned as a burying ground.

6. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
About the year 1752, a Menonite family of Blossers, consisting of four or five brothers, came from Switzerland
and located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Some years later, a part of the family located near Stonyman in
Page County, Virginia: Still later four brothers of the Page County family brought a large tract of land in
Rockingham County, the land, which consisted of several hundred acres, was purchased from the Whitmers and
others. About 1818 the first Menonite community, which still exists, was established in Rockingham County.
There being in this family an old bachelor, Abraham Blosser, and an old maid, Annie Blosser, who together
owned a part of the land pruchased; these two donated and established the theme of this story, the Blosser
Graveyard, which was located on their farm. It is now owned by the Wamplers. The graveyard is cared for by
the Blosser descendants. While it was donated by the Blossers, it was used as a community burying ground, and
now contains about seventy-five graves among which are members of the Groves, Heatwoles, Suters, Dundores,
Wengers, and other families.

In the northeast corner of the graveyard is the grave of Catherine M. Suter, wife of David Suter, and daughter of
A. and S. Grove. She was buried March 19th, 1860, aged twenty-three years six months and fourteen days. The
first of April 1934, some unknown person or persons made a partial excavation of this grave and a few days
later, on Easter Sunda, or Sunday night, the excavation was continued to the bottom of the grave. The object of
this foul deed, or the purpetrators of same, is a mystery unsolved, with no clue, except the finding of a new
shovel which was left at the grave and a foreign car with Texas license having been seen several times in the
vicinity about the same time of the above named occuracnce. This story is authentic from the Blosser family
close by, who made a written memorandum of this matter with dates, etc., and Mr. Jonas T. Blosser, who is the
present caretaker, said that he refilled the grave himself. The grave was there to show for itself with the extra
pile of dirt. This matter caused no little excitement in the community, and the incident was written up in the
county paper. No clue or explanation has ever been found in the matter.

In the northwest corner of the graveyard lies the remains of an unknown tramp who was buried there many
years ago; probably before the War Between the States. The tramp was passing through this section and stopped
by a farm house for a drink of water, which was given him, and he became suddenly ill and died without any
identification of any kind, so he was given a permanent lodging in this graveyard. You can see from the
inscriptions on the stones that as far back as 1835 the location of this graveyard is a part of the early history of
Rockingham County.

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