Article exactly as it appeared originally in the "Scranton Truth" newspaper, and was later published in the book, "The Historical Record", a quarterly publication of The Wilkes-Barre Record, 1899, edited by F.C. Johnson

Doctor Robinson's Grave

One hundred years ago there was but a single burying place from the head of the Lackawanna to its mouth at Pittston. This was known as Tripp's graveyard, on the edge of Capouse, near the Mt. Pleasant Colliery. There were no public grounds, all were private. In Slocum Hollow the Slocum place was the second, while on the Hyde Park hillside was the third burial ground in the valley. In Dunmore the DePuy was next started. The Griffin, the Hermans, the McDaniels, the Lutz and the Mott grounds were private places for the dead, with no head-stones of marble, and few had common stones reared by tender hands.

Dr. Silas B. Robinson came into the valley in 1823. He was the second physician here. He settled in Providence, where he died in 1860. He was buried in the Tripp place. On the sunny side of the hill under the sighing of a small pine tree, he was buried by the Masons, of which he was a prominent member. His death was sudden. In the evening he visited a patient in the village, returning home he shelled a bushel of corn for his chickens, took a dose of medicine for a cold, went to bed and died within an hour. He was a good man. He never drank or smoked. He always visited his patients on foot, carried his own medicine, and never wrote a prescription in his life. Valerian, soda and herbs made up his "materia medica", and his patients generally recovered. He belonged to no church, but he knew the Bible by heart yet he was very profane. His profanity, however, like some men's prayers, never meant any harm. He never had a lawsuit in his life, and yet this excellent man has no monument or stone to mark the spot where he was laid. It is a shame that this is so. Hiram Lodge of Masons appointed a committee to erect a monument, but as his son Dr. Giles Robinson promised to do it, it was abandoned. Mr. Storrs, of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western RR., promised to remove the remains to Dunmore but thus far nothing has been done. His estate is estimated at $50,000, and it is a shame that so good a man should be covered up by culm, forgotten and unknown.

By the way, his son, Dr. Giles R., died recently and few knew the cause of his death. In the lower portion of Providence, opposite the blacksmith shop of Mr. Bright, stands a small building where W.W. Winton and the late W.W. Ketcham, D.R. Randall and others once kept school half a century ago. In the winter of 1839 Loran Dewy, an Abingtonian, kept school here and Giles, a lad of fourteen, went to him. Being a mischievous boy, the master jerked him off his seat one day with such violence as to fracture his hip. He never recovered from the fall. It led to necrosis, or death of the bone, and it discharged matter up to the day of his death. -- Dr. H. Hollister in "Scranton Truth"

Additional Information

The location of the Tripp Burying Ground was not next to the Tripp House as often stated in recent years, but was relatively close to it.

The late George Broadbent's grandmother, Katy Tripp was the last Tripp to live in the Tripp House. George knew that the Tripp Burial Ground was not next to the house as often suggested, but also did not know just exactly on the property where it was located.

An early illustration of a Tripp burial, showed the coach and horses departing from the front porch of the Tripp House after services, for the burial.

"Tripp Graveyard Most Likely First In Scranton"

Charles A. McCarthy's research, "Burying Grounds" in the region, revealed that Tripp's Graveyard, near the later site of the Mount Pleasant Colliery, probably was the first cemetery on the site of present day Scranton. [Also same site of Diamond Shaft in Providence.]

In the June, 1887 Wilkes Barre Record, Dr. H.H. Hollister wrote;

"As early as 1787 there was but a single burying place from the head of the Lackawanna River to it's mouth at Pittston. This was known as Tripp's Graveyard, on the edge of Capoose."

"Isaac Tripp, 'a man of five and 30," built a shelter among the pines in Capoose Meadow in 1771."

Dr Hollister recalled that Dr. Silas B. Robinson, who in 1823 came to Providence Township, "where he creditably practiced his profession nearly 40 years, " died in 1860 and was interred in the old Tripp "burying ground."

Dr. Hollister stated, "it was later covered by a culm bank."

Seventeen bodies of the Tripp's, two LaFrance's, and one Keen, had been removed to  two Tripp plots in Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore, Pa. in early November, 1870 and November, 1872. where they are marked today with the original gravestones laid flat upon their graves. (Link: Forest Hill Cemetery Data Base)

Dr. Silas B. Robinson and wife Maria Slocum Robinson, were removed and reburied in 1878 in Dunmore Cemetery in Dunmore, Pa., and are so marked with a monument there today.

Information provided by Norma V Reese and Ralph W Robinson II


After many years of searching for actual location of the Tripp Burial Ground, near or on the Tripp property, by Norma Reese & Ralph W Robinson, II, Norma discovered the attached letter to the editor of the Scranton Republican newspaper, that confirms the exact location of the Tripp Burial Ground on the Tripp property, and where the Tripp Mine Diamond Shaft over-ran the burial grounds and the Tripp burial graves, and from where they were reburied in Forest Hill Cemetery as documented previously.


Burial Places In The Lackawanna Valley
To The Editor of The Morning Republican

The Lackawanna Valley, peopled by many races, as diverse in character, temperament and habit as possible, all drawn hither by the lore of adventure or the hopes of gain, boasts of its cities, its towns, and villages of no ordinary thrift and beauty, and yet, with all the immense wealth of its coalbeds, the healthfulness and beauty of its locality, and the reputed refinement and intelligence of its inhabitants, how few appropriate burial places are accorded to the dead!

In passing down the valley from the low hills of Wayne county, where the head springs send the flood fifty miles away to the Susquehanna, how many spots, where breaking hearts have left their loved ones till that bright resurrection morning, are now turned into pasture lots, serrated by railroad tracks, or choked by weary loads of culm! Striving, struggling, and striking, how few expect to need a burial place in Scranton, or around it?

From Carbondale to Pittston are found some thirty burial places, and such places! May the Lord have mercy on the men to whose keeping they are entrusted! Taken as a whole, how painfully apparent is the want of taste, respect or even common decency exhibited towards the dead. How often we see the unfenced graveyard by the roadside rooted by swine, instead of being cared for or even adorned with shrubbery? How many places sloping towards the stream, once made green and beautiful by the hands of a loving mother or husband whose love is no more, are given up to weeds or to oxen and cows grazing sluggishly upon them?

The oldest burial place in the Valley, aside from the Indian mounds of Capouse, is located in Pittston, on a sandy bluff overlooking Everhart's Island, near the mouth of the Lackawanna. Old graves neglected and unknown are found here. A single headstone, bearing this rudely carved inscription:

27 Y A R

is all that interprets the history of the occupants of this spot known in the olden time as "Scott's Burying." Some seventy other graves, without stones or inscription, are faintly indicated by the depression in the green sward, while a few feet in front, around a large field, stands a rail fence, thus leaving the graves fenced out into commons.

In passing over the spot a dozen years ago with the venerable Dr. Peck, it seemed to us that the graves had been purposely crowded upon the outer edge of the field for economical or other purposes, and that the place had been robbed of its former sacredness by the hand of time or cupidity. Wild plum trees of great size, overgrown with grape vines, formed a thicket over the dead until a few years since.

As the grave of Betty Brown lay in the centre of the group, it is probable that some of the other graves were made anterior to 1788, although the valley had been settled but nineteen years previous to this. There can be no doubt but that the first interment along the Lackawanna was made here, but who was the first silent occupant of this meadow's bosom no one can tell. The Atherton burial place of Lackawanna township, long used by the inhabitants, presents a crowded, but otherwise neat and well kept appearance.

The Tedrick burial place in Pittston, fenceless and friendless, presents such a neglected aspect to the eye that every-body deny that they have friends sleeping there.

On a gentle slope of the old Stephen Tripp farm, above Hyde Park, over-looking Capouse Meadow, lies the Tripp graveyard, once wreathed with pleasant flowers and shrubbery in their softest coloring, but now smothered upon every side by pyramids of coal and culm black as midnight.


It is not many hundred yards away from the gasses constantly issuing and burning, and it offers no attractions now, other than the sad or pleasant associations of the past. One of the earliest stones, over the remains of Stephen Tripp, bears date 1799.

Near this grave reposes the dust of one whom all knew and loved in his day, as the Doctor of the country. How the green grass grows on the simple mound, sheltered only by the blossoms of an apple tree! Who sleeps in the narrow furrow surrounded by Alps of culm without a head stone to mark his grave? Dr Silas B. Robinson, a droll old man, whose kindly greeting and practical ways are well remembered in the community where he lived and died. The masonic fraternity, of which he was an honored member, appropriated funds for a monument for the Doctor a few years since, but his son's promise, not yet fulfilled, to erect one himself, arrested further action in the matter.

Unless these graves are removed they cannot fail in time to be dug under or covered over with mining debris, or worse still, scorched by the subterranean fires hissing their flames from the crevices in the ground at the foot of the hill. Ira Tripp, esq., is too shrewd and liberal a man not to anticipate and prepare for such a contingency by looking towards Dunmore where there is plenty of room if there is no comfort in the thought of being laid away there, upon the cold shelf with friend and foe for a few thousand centuries.

Copywrited By Ralph W. Robinson, II.

These documents are made available for non-commercial personal use.

     Return to the Slocum Home Page