Preservation Maryland actively supports the documentation and preservation of Maryland’s sacred burial sites and will co-host a free cemetery documentation training workshop in Anne Arundel County later this month.
Preservation Maryland is pleased to announce the new class of Six-to-Fix projects. The Six-to-Fix program is an innovative impact-focused effort designed to help provide real solutions to big preservation challenges across the state.
Hammond Family Cemetery, Frederick County, 2019.
New Statewide Cemetery Documentation Project Underway
03/19/2019 By Elly Colmers Cowan
Working with the Maryland Department of Transportation and the State Highway Administration, Preservation Maryland has embarked on an ambitious project to document 100 cemeteries and burial sites across the state.
Preservation Maryland selected trained archaeologist, Caroline Herritt, to lead the project as Cemetery Documentation Specialist. She has previously worked on cultural resource management and archaeology projects across the country. Starting with a rough list of 100 at-risk cemeteries, the initiative has commenced with locating forgotten, abandoned, and ill-maintained locations and conducting research leading to the identification of previously unknown burial sites and their ownership.
Nearly a dozen cemeteries have been documented thus far using a mobile app specially developed by SHA to record data points that will be added to a first-of-its-kind data layer in their statewide GIS database and mapping tool. Most of the cemeteries surveyed date from the 19th century and were located on private property. Based on this important exercise, the app may be released to the public to help crowdsource additional data. Preservation Maryland will host five app workshops this year, including a workshop at the Old Line State Summit in Frederick on July 24, 2019.
Headstone at Hammond Family Cemetery, New Market, 2019.
Headstone at Thomas Cemetery, Point of Rocks, 2019.
Preservation Maryland has been actively involved in cemetery preservation and named Maryland’s burial sites a Six-to-Fix project in 2016. Working closely with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, and now with DOT and SHA on this initiative, the organization continues to advocate and work for the protection of these sacred places. Cemeteries are evocative and powerful places that speak to both descendants and visitors equally and documentation is a step towards proactively protecting at-risk historic cemeteries.