The Historic Midland Cemetery

About Barbara Barksdale


Barbara Barksdale, known as the cemetery lady, mission is to restore, preserve and education the public on the vast amount of history of those who are buried in the Midland Cemetery.

I am so avid about getting this history and salvaging the history that we have because we have so much to contribute.  And I am not talking about just blacks/African Americans, we must include all people.

 Such as the Portuguese, native American Indians, Jews, Germans, Croatians, and anyone else. We all have so much wonderful history that, in this melting pot that we call Steelton and surrounding area, that impacts all of America.  If we could just all step up to the plate and share the history, it would really make a difference in people's lives.

I have always had a love of history since the early ages of my life. My career paths lead me to nursing for years, even teaching Anatomy and Physiology at the Academy of Medical Arts and Business in Harrisburg for a number of years, but the love of history never died.

My passion for history of my ancestors truly sparked when I had the opportunity to review books that were all about African American history. From there it just exploded.  Learning not only about my relatives, but the history of so many of those buried in the soil of Midland.

Discovering the history of the United States Colored Troops and Buffalo Soldiers that had homes and worked right here in the Steelton, Swatara Township area. The history of the founders of the Hygienic School and many of the churches which still exist today are laid to rest on this hill.

How could I walk away from them only to be forgotten again. I want to lives my life in order to contribute to the community.

I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best colleges and students in central Pennsylvania. Have aided three Eagle Scouts to get their ranking and spoke at many occasions to spread the word about the history that belongs to everyone.

I want my dash to represent my life in a positive way. I will continue to educate others about African American history, and continue with restoring the Midland Cemetery.