The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded half a million dollars in funding to fix the stormwater runoff problem at an historic Annapolis church cemetery. Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church is home to a historic cemetery where members of the African American community have been buried for over 150 years, including former slaves and Harriet Tubman’s descendants. The church, located near Whitehall Creek in Annapolis, floods during significant rain events.
About 20 years ago, Maureen and Bill Norton were looking at oysters in a tidal creek off of the Potomac River in southern St. Mary’s County. Maureen started walking through the nearby woods and came across an iron fence surrounding a small plot of headstones among the ivy and the trees.
In the ensuing years, the vegetation has continued to grow over the cemetery, some headstones have fallen over as well as part of the fence. The ornate gate of the iron fence has gone missing.
Called the Hencoop cemetery, there are five generations of three families buried there. The land became part of Point Lookout State Park when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources bought 444 acres around Cornfield Harbor Road in 1992.
PreserveCast podcast episode is now available online!
When you picture a historic cemetery, you probably imagine a place that’s calm and serene. When you picture cemetery preservation, the fact is that the work done by folks like our guest this week Eileen McGuckian, of the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, requires a lively energy and lots of grassroots enthusiasm. Eileen McGuckian is here to fill us in on the ins-and-outs of cemetery preservation in general. This week we’re spreading the preservation love as we welcome guest host Meagan Baco.
On October 13, 2016, Preservation Maryland’s new class of Six-to-Fix projects was revealed to a packed room at the Maryland Zoo’s historic Mansion House in Baltimore. This innovative impact-focused program is designed to help provide real solutions to big preservation challenges. The prestigious statewide organization selected Historic Maryland Cemeteries as one of six strategic projects for 2016-2017. CPMBS views this partnership with PM as a unique opportunity for owners, caretakers, and advocates of historic Maryland cemeteries to take giant steps forward.
Across the state, some of Maryland’s most sacred sites are endangered by environmental factors, lack of clear ownership, and development pressures.
Working closely with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Preservation Maryland will help call attention to the many cemeteries that are in disrepair, organizing volunteer clean-up days while also providing pro-active information to the greater community about historic cemetery maintenance, repair, and protection.