Stoner Farm and Cemetery
The Evendale Farm in 1911 before Rt. 230 was designed.
The Stoner farmhouse and cemetery are located along Route 230 in Lower Swatara Township. Heinrich Steiner (Stoner) emigrated from the Tulpehocken Settlement in Berks County sometime prior to 1780. He purchased land and built a stone home.
The Stoner Farmhouse stayed in the family until the early 1900’s. Sometime after that the farm was sold to Evendale.
In 1906, Mr. Evendale sold the stone house to Redsecker Young, a nephew of Col. James Young. Redsecker Young sold the farmhouse in 1925 to Edward Hershey. More recently, the farmhouse was owned by Clarence A. Riley and then he sold it in 2008 to IB Property Holdings, LLC. In 2011, it was sold to Mohammad A. Khan who owns the farmhouse today.
The cemetery that sits in front but on the right of the stone farmhouse (when you are standing in front looking at the house) was the burial ground of the Stoner family and friends. We believe the cemetery stayed in the Stoner Family or Evendale separated it from the farmhouse deed around 1906 (we are still researching). The cemetery holds within its arms the bones of civil war soldiers, along with about 25 others, the first being buried in 1784.
In 1910, when Mary Stoner died (the last person to be buried there), she left the cemetery to the First Church of God in Highspire, PA, along with $800 for its care.
Almost 100 years has passed and time, along with road construction, vandalism, several vehicle collisions, and nature has taken a huge toll on the cemetery walls and foundation.
The cemetery is still under the protection of the First Church of God in Highspire. Lower Swatara Township Historic Preservation Society has joined forces with the church to have it restored and an historical plaque made so that others may know the history.
On September 23, 2019, there was an ribbon-cutting ceremony with State Representative Thomas L. MeHaffie, III and the Keystone Mountain Lake Carpenter's Union, Local 431 (from Lebanon) who repaired the cemetery for the church and communities in Highspire and Middletown.
The farmhouse and cemetery are all that remain of the Stoner Farmstead, which was over 57 acres. The farmhouse was revamped into the Old Stone Inn and then the Bratina’s Steak House followed by the Tree House Grill. Currently, it sits abandoned and in disrepair.
The following list provides the names and dates inscribed on the headstones in the cemetery.
A. Lincoln (son of Michael and Mahilda)
b. 4-26-1861 d. 8-10-1881
d. 2-5-1869 12 yrs. 3 mo. 5 days
Mahilda N. (wife of Michael Stoner)
b. 4-26-1831(?) d. 4-16-1874
Michael Stoner (father)
d. 10-29-1862 53 yrs 7 mo. 2days
Lydia Strayer (wife of Michael)
d. 4-28-1851 36 years
b. 5-?-1844 d. 2-7-1869
d. 9-17-1829 30 years
Henry W. Stoner
b. 11-22-1841 d. 12-28-1879 88 years
Mary A. Stoner
b. 5-8-1815 d. 12-22-1910 (this was last burial in this cemetery
d. 12-3-1881 32 yrs. 3mo. 5 days
Mary F. Stoner
d. 3-24-1879 32 yrs. 14 days
d. 10-17-1816 53 yrs. 6 mo. 11 days
Mary Ann (wife of Henry Stoner, daughter of George and Mary Neibling)
b. 5-18-1775 d. 9-15-1844
b. 4-29-1866(?) d. 3-1-1892
Martha (wife of Henry Stoner)
d. 4-17-1825 21 yrs. 7 mo.
Magdelana (wife of Henry Stoner)
b. 8-25-1797 d. 8 -?-? 49 yrs. 11 mo. 8 days
Joseph (son of George and Barbara Zimmerman)
d. 11-19-1856 b. 7-9-1840
Barbara (Wife of George Zimmerman) (Daughter of H & M. Stoner
b. 11-5-1824 d. 8-16-1850
No dates Civil War Soldier 93rd Pa. Vol Co. I
d. 1-20-1852 32 yrs.
Mahala Neavling (consort of Charles)
b. 1-15-1827 d. 10-16-1852 25 yrs. 9 mo.
Edward (son of Charles Mabal Ritterspach)
b. 1-14-1851 d. 6-7-1851
C. M. R.
b. 6-13-1848 d. 12-19-1850
b. 10-15-1784 d. 12-29-1855
Mary Ann (daughter of Michael and Lydia Stoner)
6-1835 3 yr. 6 mo.
Infant of Michael and Matilda Stoner
d. 8-21-1853 5 days
Infant of Michael and Matilda Stoner
Born and died 3-1848
Sarah Ann (daughter of Michael Stoner)
d. 7-22-1814 3 yrs. 19 days
H. Z. S.
No dates – Civil War Soldier
b. 3-28-1835 d. 6-24-1902
A small gray slate stone lies in the corner of the cemetery. On the stone someone wrote the name Stoner. Under the name Stoner three words were scratched; My God Knows. Apparently the writer meant that only God knows who’s buried there.
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Photo of Evendale Farm courtesy of Sam Seltzer.