Very few know of this very obscure cemetery nestled deep in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore City. Even those that have visited 'Safety City' with their children often don't realize there is a cemetery immediately behind it. If driving through the park, turn on Shop Rd. The cemetery lies between safety city and a Baltimore City Garage. It was in very bad shape when we found it the first time, but low and behold some good souls are taking it upon themselves to keep it mowed and making efforts to restore the many stones that have been vandalized. That is a huge undertaking considering where the cemetery lies. It is a shame, but in today's society, if there isn't respect for the living, there certainly isn't respect for the deceased.
Just about the entire cemetery is German. It is my understanding that the cemetery was originally the cemetery for three Lutheran Churches in Baltimore (Immanual, Martini and Second Lutheran), but is now the sole responsibility of Martini Lutheran Church. The site at Druid Hill Park was the second site for a cemetery for Second Evangelical Lutheran Church on Saratoga and Holliday Streets, the first being on Madison Avenue, just outside of Druid Hill Park. Four and a half acres were bought from Francis L. Hilberg and his wife. In 1854-1855 the bodies of the departed from the first cemetery were moved to Druid Hill Park. It is my understanding that the cemetery is older than the park and that when the park was sold to the city from Lloyd Nicholas Rogers in 1860, the cemetery was excluded from the sale.
Druid Hill Park-
There are two burial grounds in the park; the larger of these containing two and one-quarter acres, belongs to the German Lutheran Church, and is situated near the centre of the park. It is owned by three congregations, and is still used for the purpose of interment. It originally contained four and a half acres, but two and on quarter acres in which there were no graves were condemned by the park commissioners. The other graveyard containing only half an acre, and situated some distance in the rear of the Mansion House, was reserved by Mr. Rogers in selling the park, the burials in it being restricted to the present generation.
Source: History of Baltimore City and County, Scharf, 1881
Special Opportunity to Learn More: Martini Lutheran Church in Baltimore is printing and publishing a booklet, "St. Paul's Cemetery in Druid Hill Park". The 24 page booklet is being offered as a fund raiser with all proceeds being used to restore and repair many of the badly damaged stones in the cemetery. The booklet is the complete history of the cemetery using original source material found in the Martini files. It includes a detailed account of the cemetery's deed, the dedication ceremony of the cemetery by the Second German Evangelical Lutheran Church, a brief history of the church and her three daughter churches, the rules of the cemetery which are written in German, an account of the restoring of the graveyard in the last few years by Martini and several photographs. The booklet is available for a donation and a $5 handling fee. The donation is tax deductible.
More information on the site may be found at http://www.carolshouse.com/cemeteryrecords/stpaul/
Headstones on the photographs: