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Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 Order of Moses Cemetery and Hall Site Named One of the Most Endangered Historic Places in U.S.

PRESS RELEASE – Friends of Moses Hall, June 3, 2021, Cabin John, MD

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 Order of Moses Cemetery and Hall site in Cabin John, Maryland one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2021.

“Saving the Morningstar Moses Cemetery and Hall site is how we make good on promises to expand our infrastructure in an equitable way without further destruction of communities of color. Past disregard for the heritage of the community of Gibson Grove in transportation projects has already resulted in the loss of an important part of our full American story. This endangered listing challenges us to do the right thing today as we expand our infrastructure, so there will be no additional wrong to correct in the future, and it also calls attention to the threats facing African American cemeteries across the country.”
– Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Headstone of wealthy 19th century free Black man found in Annapolis cemetery

John Maynard, born a free Black man in Annapolis in 1810, died at the age of 64, a wealthy property owner in the city.

After he was buried in St. Anne’s Cemetery decades ago, the exact location of Maynard’s headstone in the city graveyard was mostly forgotten. It became one of the hundreds of markers filling the hilly plot in the shadow of the majority-Black Old Fourth Ward.

But thanks to the sharp eye of Annapolis historian Janice Hayes-Williams and with the help of cemetery maps provided by Ginger Deluca, co-chair of St. Anne’s Cemetery Committee, the worn gray headstone was rediscovered this week nestled between two bushes, covered in dirt, branches and grass clippings.

A clean break at its base indicates it broke off its foundation at some point and was perhaps placed under the bushes for safekeeping, said Mark LaBuda, St. Anne’s manager. Other broken headstones are often propped up against the cemetery walls.

Now, Hayes-Williams hopes to find a place to display Maynard’s headstone permanently to teach future generations about the city’s Black history. A logical spot, she said, would be in the backyard of the historic Maynard-Burgess House on Duke of Gloucester Street that Maynard owned from 1847 until his death in 1875.

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Uncovering a mysterious 18th-century burial ground at Baltimore County’s Marshy Point park

(Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
Dave Oshman, president of Marshy Point nature center council (left), and Daniel Dean, research chair with Marshy Point nature center council stand behind a recovered tombstone that includes the name “Cassandor Hamilton,” which is the burial place of Cassandra Hamilton, who was born in the 1700s and died in 1794.

Just between Saltpeter Creek and Dundee Creek on the eastern side of Baltimore County, Marshy Point Nature Center attracts bountiful wildlife to its Upper Chesapeake wetlands.

On any given visit a guest might encounter frogs and toads in its vernal pools, seasonal ponds that dry up in the summer, or see majestic eagles soaring across the creek. Kids love checking out the chickens, owls and vulture near the nature center.

But the sights aren’t limited to wildlife.

Just past a dry-docked boat in the parking lot sits a gray tombstone from more than 200 years ago. Few of the visitors to Marshy Point Nature Center even realize it’s there, much less stop to read its inscription:
“In Memory of CASSANDOR HAMILTON Who Departed this Life October 1 1794 Aged 42 Years.”

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Historic Designation of Maryland Cemeteries, Part Two – State and National Levels

by Anne Brockett, February 2021
As discussed in the last Courier, local designation as a historic site is a powerful means of protecting cemeteries in Maryland. Historic designation by a city or county government provides protection from inappropriate changes to keep the historic character of cemeteries intact.

While local designation often affords the strongest level of physical protection, cemeteries can also receive protection and recognition by inclusion in the one or more of the following:
• Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties
• National Register of Historic Places
• National Historic Landmark listing

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Cemetery steward cleans up African American graves in Deale and looks to have its history recognized

By DONOVAN CONAWAY
CAPITAL GAZETTE | FEB 01, 2021

Elinor Thompson has started cleaning a cemetery in Deale where her in-laws’ family has ancestors buried and has been marking possible unmarked graves along the way.

Tanyard Cemetery, also known Franklin Cemetery, is an African American cemetery owned by Franklin United Methodist Church. Tombstones mark dates ranging from 1842 to 1982 and the site contains over 120 graves, many unmarked and many with hand-carved stones.

The property used to include two buildings, a place where cowhides were tanned and a meeting house that was one of the oldest Black Methodist gathering places in southern Anne Arundel County, said Thompson, the cemetery project manager and steward.

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