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Home and Grave of Augusta Harriet Bitner - Lancaster, PA

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

Augusta was born August 24, 1884 to Charles W. Bitner, a prominent leaf tobacco dealer, and his wife Amelia. Augusta graduated from the Moravian Seminary in Lititz where she studied German, piano and embroidery. She also graduated from National Park Seminary in Washington, DC.

Allegedly Augusta’s parents disapproved of her marrying Stanley Tevis. On the morning of the wedding, Augusta argued with her mother about Stanley. She ran out of her room, tripped on her wedding dress and tumbled down the stairs breaking her neck.

Augusta’s family sold their home at 902 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, to pay for the $12,000 granite monument with the exact likeness of Augusta and stands 6’5” tall. The monument is inscribed with Augusta’s favorite hymn, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Also inscribed is “Could love have kept her?”

According to local legend the statue cries real tears and is said to step from it’s foundation and wander the cemetery with flaming green eyes on the anniversary of her death. Others have stated when the moon is full Augusta’s spirit has been spotted roaming around the cemetery.

We came across an article on FB by the pennsylvaniarambler that differs from the above legend. He did research and states that Augusta died of typhoid fever. He claims that she did not die on her wedding day but was married and had a child. Then the mystery is why her maiden name is on her tombstone and not her married name?

Augusta’s grave can be found at the Lancaster Cemetery: 205 East Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA

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