This Cemetery is located behind the Sandy
Hook Elementary School, on Sandy Hook which is immediately South of the
Strasburg Town corporation limit.
A number of researcher and authors have made the follow
statements regarding the cemetery.
Location: On the Boyd Stickley property there is a cemetery
commonly called the Indian Graveyard. No Indians are buried there. The
graves are probably those of Sonner and Robinsons. This information was
documented by the cemetery researcher about 1965.
Daniel Bly's book published 1996 states that, "While
John(Sonner) purchased a number of other properties including several farms
and lots in the town of Strasburg, he and his family lived on Sandy Hook
farm and his is probably buried in the old Christian Bowman graveyard on
the hill overlooking the river.".
This cemetery was documented to be a Sonner Graveyard
in "Tombstone Inscriptions: Shenandoah and Page Counties, Virginia" published
about 1982 by Duane Borden. This same source documents that a black walnut
casket of heavy construction was struck when workmen were installing water
mains into the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This cemetery is documented in the book published by
E. E. Keister. This book was published 1972. Mr. Keister documented the
following, ".....Ezra Stickley, who was born on and lived most of his life
on that farm and who recently died at the age of about 89 years old, told
me that his plot was know as the Sonner graveyard and that members of the
Sonner family and their slaves were buried there.".
A Strasburg resident recalls seeing about fifteen headstone
on the cemetery during the early 1940s.
Another local resident recalls walking from Strasburg
to the cemetery with his father and sitting there on many occasions during
the 1930s. A map draw about 1865 indicates a family living on Sandy Hook
with the same name as this person.
Many older Strasburg residents recall the cemetery but
no particular information related to the number of stone and etc.
The above articles
were published by the Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg, Virginia
The above articles
were published in the Harrisonburg Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va.
above article it states,
"Stickley said her father-in-law Ralph, sold 25 acres
to the school board for the school in the late 1960s and family members knew
there was a private cemetery there. Gloria Stickley, a librarian at
Strasburg High School, said the cemetery is marked by for tall cedar trees.
Why didn't the school board take measures to preserve and protect the
old cemetery? They removed the old cedars that marked the boundaries and
there are no headstons remaining. I have talked to a number of eyewitness
that have told me there was about fifteen headstones standing the in the 1940s.
More were likely on the cemetery but fallen over by deer passing through the
area. One of the eye witness I talked to, a Mr. Zirkle who's father owned
the property in the 1940s told me that some of the stones indicated military
rank. Mr. Carl Rinker, a public land surveyer, told me that he knew of the
cemetery and was told by his employer Mr. Whitmore not to indicate the cemetery
on the plat of the property. Please help restore that historical landmark
and show some respect to the early settlers who are burried there.