Annual Duffy’s Cut Memorial Service


Mar 4, 2018
02:00 PM until 04:00 PM


West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home has partnered with the Duffy’s Cut Project to host the 6th Annual Duffy’s Cut Memorial Service. The ceremony is set to be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018 from 2 to 4 p.m. in remembrance of the Duffy’s Cut workers buried at the cemetery, with remarks by Dr. William E. Watson of the Duffy’s Cut Project.


57 workers came to Philadelphia from the Ulster counties of Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry to work in Pennsylvania's developing railroad industry. They were employed by an Irish construction contractor, named Philip Duffy, for the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad which later became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Main Line. Less than two months after their arrival, all 57 are believed to have died during the second cholera pandemic. While most died of the disease, forensic evidence suggest that some may have been murdered, perhaps due to fear of cholera in the area and surrounding counties. Prejudice against Irish Catholics contributed to the denial of care to the workers. Their illness and death typified the hazards faced by many 19th century immigrant industrial workers. The mass grave of the Irish immigrant workers was found outside of Malvern, PA.


Guests are asked to gather at the West Laurel Hill Funeral Home beginning at 2 p.m.  The memorial service will start promptly at 2:30 p.m.  For more information about Duffy’s Cut, visit For more information about the Duffy’s Cut Memorial Service, please contact West Laurel Hill Cemetery at 610-668-9900 or For media inquiries, contact Joanie Sweeney at or (610) 668-4258.




View map West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home
321 Belmont Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Additional Information


Duffy’s Cut Project

Contact name

Dr. William E. Watson


Bala Cynwyd and Merion

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

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