Lawrenceville PA Library Built on Ancient Burial Ground

Lawrenceville Library, part of the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, PA.

Lawrenceville is a community in the city of Pittsburgh, PA near the Allegheny River but in the past it was known as Shannopin’s Town . There was an Native American Indian village of the Delaware Indians, the Lenape tribe, that covered the site from about 1731 to the French occupation of 1754.

The site were the Lawrenceville library today stands; which is a branch of the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh, was once part of huge cemetery. The cemetery operated from 1814 to 1879. The cemetery was disbanded; closed down, and all the bodies were moved out to several final resting places.  Some of the human remains went to a huge mass grave, others were sent to a new cemetery.

ON May 10, 1898 the Lawrenceville Library was first opened to the public and was built on the ancient burial site. During construction,  a heavily damaged tombstone was found that later on was able to be fully read. The inscription reads :”IN MEMORY OF HENRY SNOWDEN who departed Dec. 7th 1830, aged I year & 3 mon.”

The tombstone was placed at the basement of the library. There is a story that the spirit of a male child, presumably Henry Snowden, roams the hallways of the library at night, and this spirit has been encountered by various patrons of the library.

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