Promoting the preservation and protection of the burial sites, cemeteries, and grave yards in Maryland.
CPMBS is a State-wide nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to protecting and preserving historic Maryland cemeteries. Membership in the Coalition is open to Marylanders and others who care about their heritage and their ancestors. The Coalition recognizes that many burial sites are established through a purchased right of burial that is protected by the laws of Maryland, with such right passing on to the relatives of the deceased, and which right cannot lawfully be abridged by others at will. These beliefs led individuals in the summer of 1991 to form a group that would address concerns not covered by existing laws and organizations. Learn more by reading About Us.
Coalition member, Dennis Green, lends a hand and gets some hands-on experience extracting corroded pins from unstable gravestones!
This is one of the reasons that the Coalition does not encourage ‘quick fix’ techniques, methods, and materials for gravestone repair. This synthetic adhesive/epoxy, (Akeme) was applied 15 years ago according to oral reports. It had failed within the past five years and placed upon the base with the bottom fragment. Failure was contributed by water retention and UV intolerance and instability. Note the bright white areas of the marble stone which are soft and sugaring as a result of water and salts being trapped and moisture being retained. When synthetic adhesive materials fail, that take part of the masonry substrate with it and enhance as well as cause further damage which contradicts “Do no harm”. They also do not last as long, on average 20 years, but some are seeing less than 15 like this repair. Good intentions, but very costly not only in regards the fiscal cost to repair the stone again, but to the loss of some of the masonry substrate which could have been prevented. The Coalition advocates the consultation of actual, qualified, professionals and does not charge a fee to anyone that approaches the organization for guidance, assistance and support. All are welcome to attend our board meetings as well as correspond with any of our members both on and off the board. To avoid good-intentioned mistakes like this one, request a copy of the Coalitions Cemetery Stewardship Guide, it will explain in more detail the does and don’ts cemetery care and gravestone repair or simply post or submit and inquiry. There is no such a thing as a dumb and or stupid question. The Coalition to Protect Maryland Sites is here to support, advocate, educate, and help rehabilitate anything and everything that pertains to Maryland Cemeteries.
By ALISON KNEZEVICH and PAMELA WOOD
THE BALTIMORE SUN | MAR 25, 2019
A state senator said he would withdraw an obscure bill that sought to undo a 2013 Maryland Court of Appeals decision blocking development at a Pikesville cemetery.
Residents who years ago went to court to stop a housing proposal at Druid Ridge Cemetery had cried foul over the legislation, which was introduced late in the General Assembly session by a state senator from Montgomery County.
Community members questioned why Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, a Democrat who represents the Washington suburbs, would sponsor a bill affecting a piece of property in Baltimore County. They said the legislation re-opened a dispute they thought long settled.
David B. Shapiro, a former state delegate and now president of the Dumbarton Improvement Association, which represents a neighborhood near the cemetery, called the legislation “a last-minute bill that was slipped in.”
WBAL-TV 11 – Jennifer Franciotti, News Anchor, Reporter
CARROLL COUNTY, Md. —
In Carroll County, there’s a cemetery that people drive by every day and may not know its historic significance.
Ellsworth Cemetery was created in the 1800s, out of a need to serve the black community.
“We might not always be proud of our past, but we must remember it and honor what we have here,” said Audrey Cimino, executive director of the Community Foundation of Carroll County.
Along Route 140, next to WaWa in Westminster, is a piece of history that’s little known, even to those who have relatives buried here.
“I’ve been all up and down the streets and i didn’t even know that cemetery existed,” said Gen. Linda Singh.
David Anderson, FORBES Contributor
When new construction projects break ground across the United States, they regularly encounter archaeological materials. Those materials can represent the last surviving trace of the lives lived by the people who made them; and all too often, those materials turn out to be from cemeteries and burial grounds used by segregated and enslaved African American communities. These cemeteries typically went undocumented on local and state government maps and graves were often only marked ephemerally, thus making these spaces all but invisible in the present day.
In just the past year, construction projects and archaeological surveys have encountered numerous examples of undocumented African American burial grounds across the country. Archaeological testing encountered the remains of a 19th century African American burial ground in Philadelphia; construction crews in Fort Bend County, Texas, discovered nearly 100 unmarked graves of African American prison inmates believed to have been forced to work in sugar fields long after emancipation was declared; and, archaeologists working for the Maryland Department of Transportation uncovered a previously unknown slave cemetery in Crownsville, Maryland.
These are just a handful of examples of the many times in which the lives and eternal resting places of African Americans were “lost” to written history. The stories of their lives, however, have not been lost for good. With dedicated effort, archaeological and archival research can help to reclaim the past and fill in the gaps left in our history books.
County Planning Board to review new guidelines to preserve burial grounds
By Caitlynn Peetz | Bethesda Magazine | Published February 13, 2019
A first-of-its-kind search for Montgomery County cemeteries uncovered more than 50 previously undocumented burial grounds, and county planners have new guidelines to preserve them.
The draft guidelines, set for review by the county Planning Board next week, outline requirements for retaining existing cemeteries in their original location unless approved for relocation by the Planning Board.
The guidelines come after a 15-year volunteer effort to identify burial sites.
“Cemeteries are significant and important cultural resources in Montgomery County,” the report says. “Preservation of these unique archaeological resources will further protect the cultural heritage of Montgomery County.”
Maryland Independent – By Paul Lagasse, February 4, 2019
The Charles County Planning Commission voted unanimously last week to recommend that the county commissioners approve a local historic landmark designation for a cemetery in Nanjemoy that dates back to the mid-19th century.
In December, the county Historic Preservation Commission determined that the cemetery of the Mt. Hope Baptist Church on Gilroy Road met the criteria outlined in the county’s zoning ordinance for sites of local historical and cultural significance, which requires that it have “character, interest, or value as part of the development, heritage, or culture of the County, State, or Nation.”
If Joe Fehrer hadn’t stumbled across the grave site, it might never have been found.
Flanked by an encroaching marsh, it sits a half mile walk from the nearest road through water that threatens to flow over the tops of mud boots.
On a sunny Friday morning on the way to the site in the Robinson Neck preserve on Taylors Island, Fehrer tests the water depth with a well-worn staff.
“This channel is too deep to cross,” he says, looping back to chart a new course.
His mission for the day was to measure and record information about a group of historic graves located inside the Nature Conservancy’s preserve in Dorchester County, Maryland.
Dating predominantly from the early 19th century, a cluster of family gravestones peaks out of the wooded ground at the edge of the marsh.
Some are sunken but some still stand tall after a couple hundred years.
Last year he relocated the site.
Meetings are open to all members.
The Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites provides financial assistance for worthy projects to rejuvenate endangered historic Maryland cemeteries. The Foundation invites applications for grants up to $2,000 to qualified parties. Application deadlines are January 1 and July 1 of each year.
The project or program must benefit a specific burial ground in Maryland, and Trader funds must be matched by the grantee in cash or in kind. Examples of eligible projects include rescue of an endangered site, gravestone conservation or restoration, documentation, protection of burial site from desecration by nature or by man, cemetery clean-up, and planning for restoration. For further information and the application form, click here.