Zion Hill Church…by Mrs. A. McCulloch
There is a tradition that Zion Hill settlers held Methodist class meetings in a building on the north end of Lot 28 Con 2 across the road from the present church, prior to 1843. There was also said to be a large common grave here, where victims of the 1832 and 1834 cholera epidemics were buried.
At the January 25, 1845 quarterly meeting of the Dundas Circuit, trustees were named for “the intended Wesleyan Methodist Church at Copper Hill.” Joseph Kitchen gave a plot at the south end of Lot 28 Con 1 in 1845, and the building committee, Isaac Horning, Isaac L.Howell, and William Kitchen, erected a building 40′ X 50′ capable of holding 350 people. It was dedicated September 23, 1849. In 1861, an additional acre was purchase from George G. Kitchen to enlarge the cemetery.
In 1869, this second church was replace at a cost of $3,000, by the present white brick church, which was dedicated January 9, 1870. At a dinner next night, the debt was nearly wiped out.
Zion Hill cemetery is unique among church burial grounds because anyone may use it for burial. he earliest name for Zion Hill was Copper Hill, and many are the tales to account for this name, There is the story of the singing teacher who was dislike by his pupils who paid him in coppers; and another of a special collection taken up in the church; and still another about paying a minister in such a way that he would get the hint that it was time to move. In each case, the sum of money was large, and all in coins in a paper bag that broke and spilled the coins onto the hillside. And of course, the person involved did not find all the coins, therefore the children kept finding them for years afterwards.
The truth is that the settlers in this part of Ancaster came from Sussex County, New Jersey, where there was a similar hill named Copper Hill, so they used the same name here. It is quite possible that the New Jersey Copper Hill got its name from a pilled bag of coppers, and that the legend was imported with the name.