The intact cultural landscape of the Mt. Hope Baptist Church and Cemetery in Charles County was the focus of a recent feature about forgotten cemeteries by WUSA Channel 9. Reporter John Henry brought to a large audience the area’s important African American history and recent efforts to record, understand, and preserve it’s place in Maryland history.



Last October, Preservation Maryland worked with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burials Sites and local partners to organize a comprehensive preservation volunteer work day at the Mt. Hope Baptist Church and Cemetery and nearby private land that included the Carroll Family cemetery. Architects, archaeologists, surveyors, and preservationists convened to document the historic farm house, identify and discover burial plots, record oral histories with members of the congregation – all of the resulting information was provided to Church leadership for their archive and future use.

Preservation Maryland’s Director of Communications, Meagan Baco, and lead on our cemetery conservation project was interviewed for the story along with Rev. Ruby Thomas, Cathy Thompson and Esther Reed of the Charles County Government, and Tina Simmons of the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites.

“The home still stands [at the site] and we did a very detailed documentation measurement,” Baco said. “What that means is, if the building is lost, we have baseline documentation of their craftsmanship and the place they called home.” Commenting on the people, as much as the place, Baco said that working with Brown-Thomas and other locals in the Nanjemoy community has made preserving the site even easier. “It is not all the time that a preservationist shows up and you have this opportunity to work with this diversity of intact resources,” Baco said.

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