Orange Hill Cemetery
Other Names: Orange County Pauper's, County Home Cemetery, Potter's Field
Owner: Orange County Board of County Commissioners
Operator: Orange County Board of County Commissioners
Property Address: SE corner of Michigan and Fern Creek
Size: 54 acres
Coordinates: Latitude:, Longitude: - 28.51277, -81.35949
Number of Named Graves (in survey): 38
Number of Unnamed Graves (in survey):
Oldest Date of Death on a Tombstone: 1940
Original Information: It was at the corner of Michigan and Fern Creek. It no longer exists. These names were taken in 1970 by Mary Jane Knisely.
(Revisited) -- This cemetery is also called the County Home Cemetery and the Potter's Field. It is located on the corner of East Michigan Street and South Ferncreek Ave. These additional names were literally ""dug up" by Terry Frazier, Judy O'Neill, and Linda Wright on Nov. 15, 1983. The ""stones"n were cement with glass etched inserts bearing names and dates. They were 1 to 6 inches under ground.
Later Notes: Orange Hill is at the southwest corner of Michigan St and Fern Creek Ave. The cemetery has been restored with a sign designating it as the Orange Hill Cemetery. There are a few stones but most remained unmarked.
The property at the corner of Fern Creek and Michigan was originally developed by Orange County in the 1892 as a farm for the poor. An adjacent parcel was obtained in 1904 and the county began using that as a "pauper's cemetery" but there is no record of burials prior to 1907. An article in our Buried Treasures stated: "It is uncertain when the cemetery became known as Orange Hill, but over the next half-century, the County buried over 500 infants, elderly poor, orphaned, abandoned, and forgotten people there." You can read that article in our quarterly, Buried Treasures, Volume 31, #1 – Winter 1999, p. 10-17 which contains a history of the cemetery and a list of all known interments. Orange Hill has not been used since the early 1960s.
Find-A-Grave Not found on Billion Graves.
Articles in the Orlando Sentinel:
A Pauper's Grave For A Lonely Soul One Life Story Ends With Little Ceremony 1986
Cemetery For Paupers Will Finally Get Respect 1997
From the Orlando Sentinel articles above:
Orange County prohibits any markers whatsoever, relying on a map of the gravesites to determine where the people are buried. The intent is to discourage families with enough money for a grave marker from requesting a county burial.
''If the family does have some resources, we would like them to use it toward the burial,'' said Dan Kirchner, manager of Orange County social services.''The bottom line is that records are kept for location if the family members wanted to know where they are buried.''