The Moscow Cemetery, located on Route 435 next to the St. Catherine of Siena Cemetery, as well as the Moscow Cemetery Association, were founded in 1989 because no church started one. Now, 120 years later, the organization is still committed to maintaining the cemetery grounds, preserving the cemetery records and history, and to maintaining and repairing the headstones of those who have died.
The Moscow Protestant Cemetery, its official moniker, evolved out of an even older cemetery located on the eastern side of Route 435. This older cemetery was founded sometime around the year 1840.
Eventually burials started taking place on the west side of the road and continue on that six-acre plot of land that makes up the cemetery to the present. Unfortunately, cemetery records from the earliest days were lost in a fire, so the specific details of the cemetery’s history are sparse.
The road through the cemetery is a two-track cartway. The monuments range in age from nearly undecipherable headstones from the cemetery’s earliest days to modern stones. Many veterans and families who names are recognizable as part of the borough’s history are buried there.
In 1905, a G.A.R. monument was placed in the center of the cemetery in honor of Chaplain Taylor D. Swartz, who died at age 29 in 1865. A flagpole was installed nearby, but in recent years it became so deteriorated and unsafe that it was removed in October 2017 by two members of the Moscow Cemetery Association.
A new flagpole, generously donated by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, has been erected in place of the old one. The new flagpole will be dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, August 11, at 10 a.m. The flag that will be raised on that day is a flag that was gifted to the cemetery and which has flown over the Pennsylvania State Capitol on September 18, 2017.
A new Veterans Memorial will be dedicated as well. Placed in front of the new flag pole, the memorial is made of granite and had been a long-term goal of the cemetery association. Both the flag pole and the Veterans Memorial were paid for entirely by donors to the cemetery.
Members of the Moscow Cemetery Association are Maribeth Gwynne, president; Kevin Duffy, vice president; John Newman, U.S. Navy veteran; Marshall Pierce; Kenneth Skelton, U.S. Marine Corps veteran; and Brian Yeager, U.S. Army veteran. The association also wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Arthur M. Hughes, a lifetime member of the organization who passed away in January 2018.
Along with excavators Artie and John Alt and the lawn service of Glenn Tennant, the Cemetery Association has a dedicated team of people who proudly devote their time to keeping the cemetery cared for and beautiful year-round. This care is made possible through the Perpetual Care Trust Fund that was established with the Scranton Lackawanna Trust Company in 1930 and continues today under the Trust Department of the Honesdale National Bank and Charles Curtin, Esq.
A dedication ceremony for the flagpole and Veterans Memorial will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 11. Scheduled to participate in the ceremony will be officials from local, state, and federal government; area Eagle Scouts; the Jessica Milewski 198th Army Band of Rochester, NY; the North Pocono Mutual Aid Honor Guard; the Dickson City American Legion Veterans Honor Guard; local clergy; and members of the Moscow Cemetery Association.
Members of the public are invited to attend the dedication ceremony which will be held rain or shine. Sturdy footwear is recommended since the event will take place at the site of the Veterans Memorial and new flagpole which are located in the lawn of the cemetery. The Moscow Cemetery is best accessed through the main entrance of the adjacent St. Catherine of Siena Cemetery as the Moscow Cemetery’s main entrance is steep and narrow.