Promotin 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.
Join us on Zoom WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9TH (5:00–6:00PM) where Dr. Kami Fletcher will explore Baltimore, Maryland’s Mount Auburn Cemetery—a historic African-American cemetery.
Nineteenth century Black folks fought for burial rights, which was all about these women and men wanting protected, autonomous space to memorialize their dead. Autonomous black burial grounds led to individual black persons owning land and developing savvy business ventures. In Baltimore this led to the African Burying Ground, the first phase of Mount Auburn Cemetery. Pouring over 3, 170 pages of microfilm at the Maryland State Archives, in my research I uncovered that Mount Auburn Cemetery went through four distinct phases, each time growing, developing, and changing with the needs of Black Baltimoreans and the collective Black Baltimore community.
Please join me as I talk about how Baltimore’s African Burying Ground was founded by the seven Black trustees at Sharp Street (the first African Methodist Church in Baltimore whose roots that go back to 1787) established the African Burying Ground which metamorphosed into Mount Auburn Cemetery that still stands today.
Dr. Kami Fletcher is co-editor of Till Death Do Us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed. She is a history professor at Albright College and the president of the Collective for Radical Death Studies. She researches and writes on African American deathways and death work, more specifically: 19th/20th century Black undertakers/undertaking; autonomous Black cemeteries; and contemporary Black mourning rituals.
She is the currently working on Grave History: Death & Race in Southern Cemeteries from the Antebellum to the Post-Civil Rights Era – a co-edited volume that investigates the southern places where cemeteries take root probing the interplay of southern history, culture, race, class, and gender in these cities of the dead (under contract with University Press of Georgia).
For more on Dr. Fletcher visit her website: www.kamifletcher.weebly.com and contact her on Twitter using @kamifletcher36
Funding for programs has been provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
We are proud to acknowledge the accomplish of our member, Tina Simmons, who has just published a booklet entitled, “Anne Arundel County Cemetery Art” in conjunction with the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society and assistance from the Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites. The booklet highlights the various art forms of gravestone markings throughout Anne Arundel County.
Exploring the history of Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 of the Ancient United Order of the Sons and Daughters, Sisters and Brothers of Moses and United Order of Tents.
On September 12, Dr. Alexandra Jones of Archaeology in the Community hosted an amazing panel of women discussing the archaeology and history of African American benevolent societies.
You can watch a replay at your leisure. You may recognize panel speakers who have been heavily involved in preservation efforts related to the Moses Hall No. 88 and Morningstar cemetery site in Cabin John, MD.
We congratulate member Julianne Mangin on receiving the 2019 MPI Award for Preservation Advocacy of the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery/Memorial Park. Her diligence of research and protective dedication has brought this valuable cemetery forward in the public eye.
Visit her pet cemetery blog… https://
“Hood College students will study the area and will eventually turn into a peaceful park for the descendants’ families.”
by: Caroline Morse
Posted: Jun 24, 2020 / 11:07 PM EDT / Updated: Jun 25, 2020 / 07:18 PM EDT
“I just feel bad that people are buried here that were getting trampled over or lost by the overgrowth or forgotten about,” said Neighbor Elizabeth Paul. “That was even before I knew the historic significance.”
Halfway’s historic Colored Cemetery dates back to 1844 and laid to rest over 400 unmarked graves. Spanning over seven acres, Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria bought the land in 1897. But, as decades passed, the land was forgotten about, sold in the 1950’s and eventually developed into a neighborhood.
“It was very common for African-American cemeteries to have been built over or just abandoned in the past,” said Hood College History Professor Emilie Amt. “This one became a housing development but this little piece of half-an-acre or less was preserved for a while and then it was abandoned and neglected.”
In 2018, after working on a number of projects on previously unidentified burial grounds, MDOT SHA Chief Archaeologist Dr. Julie Schablitsky had the idea to create a mobile application that would allow volunteers passionate about cemetery preservation to use GIS and Cloud data storage technology to record the location and condition of burial grounds throughout the state. This data could then be shared responsibly with appropriate public and private entities to help protect and preserve both recorded and unrecorded burial grounds.
After years of design, testing, and extensive public feedback MDOT SHA Cemetery Inventory is live and undergoing its most extensive testing to date. Currently more than 150 volunteers have signed up to collect and upload data using the mobile web-based application, allowing archaeologists and GIS specialists at MDOT SHA to develop best practices to collect, vet, organize, and share the location, description, and photographs of Maryland burial grounds.
After an extensive round of testing and troubleshooting this summer, the app will eventually be made publicly available to individuals and groups interested in using it to help record and protect Maryland’s burial grounds. Information on how to participate in the future will be available on the CPMBS website.
Alexander D. Keim, PhD
MDOT SHA Archaeologist
We need your help documenting the current condition of cemeteries in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel has the largest number of known cemeteries in Maryland as well as the oldest known tombstones.
Up until the 20th century, it was common to establish a small family cemetery on private land. Unfortunately, unchecked development and vandalism has destroyed above ground traces of these important cultural resources. Small family cemeteries hold an important place in the fabric of our communities, and the names found on the headstones are often found as the names to nearby roads or geographic features. These cemeteries represent the resting place of those who made Anne Arundel County the place it is today. In order to preserve these cues to the past, and respect the last resting place of our ancestors, County regulations do not allow cemeteries to be moved from their original location. To find out more and to sign up, visit www.aacounty.org/cemeteries. [Download the flyer and share with your community]
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.