Paradise Dunkard Cemetery,
aka Eshleman Dunkard Cemetery; Bushtown Cemetery
Antrim Township, Franklin County, PA
27. Pardise Dunkard Cemetery

a.k.a. Eshleman Dunkard Cemetery; Bushtown Cemetery

Located on the right hand side of Pensinger Road and visible from Route 11.

According to Daniel R. Lehman:

"John Eshelman (April 4, 1803-October 28, 1878), a brother of Bishop Peter Eshelman of Washington County, Maryland, lived on a farm south of Greencastle, along the road from Greencastle to Hagerstown. He was an elder in the Dunkard (German Baptist) Church. In 1861, he built a church house on his farm. This building is situated on the right side of Pensinger Road which leads east from Route 11. On the datestone in the north gable of this building is this inscription: Paradise Meeting House Built by J. and S. Eshelman 1861.

Though it is apparent that this building was called Paradise Meeting House at the time it was built, later it came to be called Eshlemans Meeting House. Though John Eshleman was an elder in the Dunkard Church, it is said that some differences existed between him and some of the others in the congregation. This led to the building of Shanks Church just west of the Williamsport Pike a few miles south of Greencastle in 1871. This was just ten years after the Paradise Meeting House had been built by John Eshelman. After Shanks Church was started, the congegation that remained at Paradise was quite small and eventually became extinct.

John Eshelman, his wife Sarah Gibble (April 11, 1810-November 22, 1891), and his four children are buried in the small cemetery at Eshelmans Church. His family included Fanny (wife of John E. Stover), Sarah (wife of Samuel Musselman), John (who never married), and another daughter (who never married).

In 1947, when the matter of providing a meeting house for the Cedar Grove members was being considerd, the Eshelmans Meeting House was sitting idle, the Dunkards having abandoned it a number of years before. With Lancaster Conference (Mennonite) approval, Jonas Eshleman, deacon of the Cedar Grove congregation, bought the Eshlemans Meeting House. The Cedar Grove members who wanted to remain with the Conference began to have services there. The congregation was organized on August 31, 1947, with a charter membership of twenty-nine persons. The Lancaster bishops authorized Christian V. Martin to serve them as bishop, which he did."

The new Mennonite congregation began to grow in numbers and soon need a larger building in which to meet. In the spring of 1955 construction began on Pensinger road about a mile from the Paradise Meeting House. The new facility is presently known as the Salem Ridge Meeting House. The first service was held on December 11, 1955. The Salem Ridge Mennonite Church Cemetery is adjacent to the rear of the church building and is currently being used for burials of its members.


Kittochtinny Historical Society, Chambersburg, Pa.


Lillian Colletta, "The Lure and Lore of Burial Grounds of Greencastle- Antrim, Journal of the Kittochtinny Historical Society, Vol. XVII, 1978-1981; p.292.

Lehman, Daniel R. "Mennonites of the Washington County, Maryland and the Franklin County, Pennsylvania Conference. The Publication Board of The Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church and Related Areas, Lititz, Pa. 1990, p. 573-575.

The Paradise Dunkard Cemetery, fenced and well maintained.

photo 1999

The Paradise Dunkard Meetinghouse

photo 1999

return to Cemeteries of Antrim Township, Franklin Co., Pa.

return to Cemeteries of Franklin County, Pennsylvania homepage

return to Cemeteries Online! mainpage


This site was created 8/2/1998

and last modified 07/03/2002

copyright 1998-2002, Darvin L. Martin, <>

all rights reserved