A Philadelphia community encompasses an abandoned cemetery

Extending over nearly 400 acres, in Southwestern Philadelphia, Mount Moriah Cemetery is the largest burial site in the state of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1855, it was the final resting place of the local Victorian élite
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After decades of urban sprawl, the once-suburban cemetery found itself in the midst of Philadelphia city
Mount Moriah was abandoned in 2011 after the death of its last surviving owner
The Friends of Mount Moriah, a private organisation, works to preserve the cemetery – many of the volunteers have family members who are buried here
In the community surrounding the cemetery, 38% of residents rely on food stamps and only 11% have a college degree
An average resident earns $26,012 a year – that’s less than half of the statewide average income
Betsy Ross, the designer of the American flag, was once buried at Mount Moriah – her remains were temporarily moved here to be alongside her third husband
An exodus of White residents reached a tipping point in the 1990s – today the neighbourhood is 79% African American
Most buildings in the community were built before 1950
The graves of soldiers who fought for the North in the Civil War are still regularly maintained by the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
31% of local residents live below the poverty line, compared with Pennsylvania’s statewide average of 13%
The area has attracted new immigrants in recent decades, many of them originally from Africa – the foreign-born population here is more than triple the state average
94% of area residents know someone who has been directly impacted by opioids, according to a survey by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Disability Services

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