The historic colonial churchyard surrounding Old Pine Church retains many tombstones marking the burial location of some 3,000 late 18th and very early 19th century Philadelphians.
Burials began in 1764 as soon as the Penn brothers deeded the 102’x 174′ property at 4th and Pine Streets to a group of Presbyterians. The churchyard, even before the church was built, was divided into a grid with 5 sections having 41 rows. Single graves were dug to a depth of 9ft, so it is not unusual to have 4 interments per grave, one on top of the other. In addition, there are about 100 vaults each having 2 to 10 interments. Not all of the graves are marked. During the Revolutionary War stone cutters either joined the military or, like many citizens, fled the city. Stone quarries outside the city simply shut down. By the 1830’s health codes no longer permitted any new burials in the old part of the city. This restriction created suburban ‘cemeteries.’