Graphic rendering of the text AP HomeSlavery to
An African American extended family poses for a photograph, circa 1870.  Graphic rendering of the text Rising Free, Free Persons of Color

Vibrant Black communities arise
from the ashes of slavery

Friends of Midland Cemetery

About our Organization

Joe Lee accompanies Barbara Barksdale at Midland's Memorial Day event, 2006.  Photo by Paula Sviben of Steelton Borough.



  • Our Memorial Day Ceremony is set for May 28, 2011. Please see our announcement letter, and respond with a program ad in support of Midland. Our latest newsletter is also full of exciting news.
  • Midland will be officially open for cleaning starting on April 30, 2011, 8am to 1pm. After Memorial weekend we will only be working every other weekend. Please contact us for the schedule.
  • We ask for your continued support to this great cause. Like everything in this economic crisis, we too are feeling the crunch. We need gas and oil for the mowers to keep them moving. Other expenditures such as electricity for the shed and flag lighting are ongoing. We have changed our schedule over the last couple of years to help with defraying cost as membership has declined due to various reasons. Ways you can help is to volunteer and give good condition lawnmowers, weed whackers and other equipment for the cemetery. Midland cannot function without you. Please do not just drop equipment at the cemetery without first contacting us. (717) 939-0242.
  • Want list:  weed whackers, lawn mowers, grass seed. We need a person to trim trees and also cut a large tree down that is dying at the root.

Our Organization's Mission

Friends of Midland is a charitable organization dedicated to the maintenance, preservation and interpretation of the history of Midland Cemetery. Located in Swatara Township, Dauphin County, Midland Cemetery is a historic burial site for people of color, with burials dating back to the 18th century

How You Can Play a Part

Barbara Barksdale poses with actress Rudy Dee.You can join our organization.  Dues are only $10 per year and help to defray the cost of maintaining the cemetery.  In addition, your contribution helps to support a vibrant, community-based organization that actively researches local history and participates in educational outreach programs with many local and statewide school districts.  Send your name and address, and a check for $10 to the address at the top of the Midland Cemetery page, or use our new printer-friendly membership form.

You can volunteer to help us.  We need people to help keep the cemetery clean, landscaped and well maintained.  Much of our work is done on Saturday mornings.  Of course we can use all types of talent in our organization to handle a variety of interesting tasks.  Please contact us if you wish to help.

If you are a person with local roots, you can contact us with your stories, family history, memories, photographs and memorabilia.  We are actively researching the role of African Americans in this community.  Send us your stories via E-mail or postal mail using the addresses at the top of the Midland Cemetery page.

You can help us with monetary donations, corporate funding, or community fundraising activities.  We are a properly registered 501(c)(3) organization (please see our statement at the bottom of this section) and donations may be tax deductible.  Please contact us for more information.

Our Resources

In addition to caring for the cemetery, we maintain a growing collection of artifacts and research materials about the Midland Cemetery in particular, and the African American community of Steelton, Oberlin, Enhaut, Bressler, and Swatara Township in general.  Materials are housed at the Midland Archives, Steelton, Pennsylvania.  At this time, the Midland Archives are not available for public research.  Our research is published through this Website, and in newsletters that we send to our membership.


Friends of Midland Cemetery members at the 3rd USCT Dinner, Black Horse Tavern, Philadelphia, 2003.  Click image for full picture.

Our activities include Memorial Day celebrations at the cemetery, privately arranged tours of the cemetery, public demonstrations and other special events as scheduled.  See our Activities Page for dates of upcoming activities and events.

Friends of Midland Board Members, (left to right), Lonnie Dodd, Sharon Harris, David Harris, and founding president Barbara Barksdale at the 3rd USCT Dinner, Black Horse Tavern, Philadelphia, 2003.  (click for a larger image).


About the Placing of Markers

Please see our page with information for those who are considering the placement of new markers, or the repair of damaged markers:  About the Placing of Markers.

501(c)(3) statement

The Friends of Midland is a non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

We are on the move.  Won't you join us?


African American Genealogy

Midland Cemetery Galleries

Civil War Burials at Midland
World War Burials at Midland
African American Burial Traditions
Gallery of Home Crafted Tombstones 
Gallery of Plot Boundary Markers
Artifacts of a Historic Cemetery

Burials at Midland

All Names, A-Z
Tombstone Transcriptions
Additional Names, List B
Additional Names, List C
Additional Names, List D
Names of Lot Holders
First Baptist Members
Map of Midland Cemetery
Midland lot books 1894-1916
Burial of Impoverished CW Vets
Burial of a Spanish American War Vet

Hygienic School Galleries

The Hygienic School Story
Roll of Colored Graduates
Teachers at the Hygienic School
Martha Brown-Cobbs

Documents and Forms

April 2011 Newsletter MS Word or PDF
2011 Letter from Barbara Barksdale MS Word or PDF
2011 Program Ad Order Form MS Word or PDF
Membership Form (printer-friendly)
2006 Memorial Event Program*
2005 Memorial Event Program**
April 2007 Newsletter **
April 2005 Newsletter*
March 2004 Newsletter*
Letter from Barbara Barksdale, 03/11/03
Letter from Barbara Barksdale, 04/24/03
Printable Event Announcement *
Official Event Press Release *

Adobe PDF file format
** Microsoft Word file format

Special Series
People of Midland

Local History and more

Andrew Askins Post 479 Veterans
Autobiography of Jacob Franklin
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts--photos
Rap Dixon Memorial dedicated
Rap Dixon event photographs
Rap Dixon Memorial Program, 8 June 2007
Steelton Death Certificates, 1892-1893
Memorial Days Past: A Remarkable Gathering
"Let Us Remember," by SFC Wedlock
Midland Cemetery Photo Page
1920 Census of African Americans in Steelton
Lincoln Cemetery, Harrisburg, Transcriptions
The 6th USCT Meets the Rebels
USCT Rallies in Support of Friends of Midland
Rochambeau's March to Yorktown
Orrick Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia


Friends' Journal
Notes from Family and Friends>
Erb Eagle Scout Project
Midland 2006 Wrap-up
Midland Families Pages
Midland Spring 2005 Diary
Midland Summer 2005 Diary
Midland Fall 2005 Diary
Midland Winter 05-06 Diary
Midland Summer 06 Diary
Success Stories
Activities and Events
Driving Directions to Midland
About the Placing of Markers
Cemetery Lady Visits Rotary
Hurricane Clean Up, August 2004
Midland Cemetery Links Page
Offer of Lookups in Virginia Records


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