For some reason, I always seem to come across pretty rural cemeteries on the warmest, stickiest days. I was on my way to Bear Valley when I ran across a sign for Chester Township Cemetery, and it was too pretty to pass up. The cemetery is also known as Bear Valley Cemetery and is located across the road from St. John’s Bear Valley Lutheran Church, which has its own cemetery. I decided to save that one for another day.

I spent more than an hour exploring and photographing the graves. Because the cemetery is located on top of a hill, a little breeze and a gorgeous view of the surrounding farms kept me going in the heat. Graves date back to the late-1850s, with the majority of burials taking place between the 1870s and 1890s. The first person buried at the cemetery was Joseph C. Sibley, Sr. in 1858. The oldest person to be laid to rest at the cemetery appears to be Benjamin Corser. He was born in 1784 and served in the War of 1812. Five other people buried in the cemetery were born in the 1700s.