St. Mary's - Silver Run
We visited St. Mary’s cemetery in February 2020. We then researched the history of the two churches and the cemetery and found that the cemetery, which is directly across from St. Mary’s United Church of Christ does not belong to the UCC, but to St. Mary's Lutheran Church. The oldest section of cemetery is to the left side of the parking lot. The stones from the older cemetery were removed in 1907 and lined up, as well as all bushes and obstructions including fencing removed. See the photos from our visit. The much larger and the location of the newer burials are behind this section. In reading about the churches, I am guessing that the area where the old stones have been replaced is the actual location of the first church. Again, the church began as a Union church, Lutheran and Reformed on May 31, 1762. From the church website we find that a log building was erected on a 15-acre lot by the members. The log building sufficed for almost 60 years. In 1821, another building was erected, again a union church, across the street from where St. Mary's United Church of Christ stands today.
Both the old and the new were Union. St. Mary’s website includes a quote for Yoder’s history of 1912, “
It is a matter of regret that we cannot tell of the beginning of the old cemetery. The oldest headstone that can be read is that of Nicklas Deal, who was one of the first officers of the old log church in the hollow. Not a few stones are there that cannot be read. There are stones without inscription. And doubtless there are early graves that were never marked. In those days the people knew nothing about cemetery plots. A modern cemetery then would have been considered as a shameful, extravagant, waste of land. All were buried in consecutive order without regard of family ties. The old cemetery consists of more than an acre of ground. In course of time it was filled up with the mortal remains of friends and loved ones. The church authorities were obliged to secure a new burial ground.”
The two congregations held a joint meeting in April of 1879 to consider enlarging the land. A unanimous vote paved the way for the cemetery enlargement. The land belonged to both congregations and lay between the properties of Wm. Feeser and J. Henry Knipple. The committee established to determine location was Edward Z. Matthias, Cyrus Feeser, James E. Dodrer, Josiah Lawyer, J. Wm. Earhart. That same year they reported that the best location for a new cemetery was the 3+ acres lying on the north north-west side of the church building with the entrance opposite the church and near the lower side of the sexton house. The sexton house and the school were sold in June, 1895. The committee continued their work and divided the lands into lots.
[From the Church Website]
On March 24, 1880, the following resolutions were passed:
Resovled: That the price of cemetery lots be hereafter fixed at five dollars, per lot of 10x16 feet.
Resovled: That the lots in the north-west corner of the cemetery bounded by the main avenues on the East and South, be kept for the purpose of a free burial ground, with the right reserved to sell any of said lots to persons who may hereafter wish to purchase.
The Carroll County Genealogical Society copied inscriptions in 1996. At that time the custodian of the cemetery was Don Dutterer and he supplemented the Society’s work with personal records. Prior to this project, the stones had been transcribed by Thomas Hollowak, Wendy Bish and Larry Bolin. It is suggested that you review all available lists for accuracy. We have include several photos from the old cemetery. We did not photograph the new cemetery.
If you have anything to add about the church or the cemetery, please send it to GermanMarylanders@gmail.com .