image124.jpg

PRESERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT FUND

 

Monumental Funding

While people most often think of cemeteries in terms of things such as necessity and beauty, the greatest of all should be that of remembrance. Here at Mount Olivet, we hold this concept very close. This cemetery is the sum of its interments, and we have here a definitive mirror on Frederick's legendary past. Just as our town and county are known for its history and preservation efforts, we want to do the same with our records, buildings and most importantly, grave markers and monuments. so the financial support to preserve and repair broken and illegible gravestones and monuments in the cemetery’s historic section.

Thanks to the generosity of the Mount Olivet Cemetery Board of Directors, an amount of $25,500 was collected in order to establish the newly formed Mount Olivet Preservation and Enhancement Fund (MOCPEF) with the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

For over a decade, the Mount Olivet Board of Directors have entertained the idea of establishing a preservation-themed fund with the Community Foundation. The idea was first pitched, and championed, by Colleen Remsberg, longtime Board member and immediate past president. In 2014, the Mount Olivet Preservation and Enhancement Fund was incorporated, but it wasn’t until December 2016 when the cemetery took the next important step to move forward—filing an application with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. The mission of this charity reads as follows:

The mission of the Mount Olivet Cemetery Preservation and Enhancement Fund is to assist in the conservation of the natural beauty and historic integrity of Mount Olivet Cemetery and to increase public knowledge and appreciation of its unique, cultural, historic, and natural resources through charitable and educational programs.

​Putting this in layman’s terms, the cemetery’s Board wants to take steps to preserve the history of this great “garden cemetery,” a community institution since the 1850’s. In doing so, they want to safeguard the cemetery’s historic records, structures and grave monuments therein. We have taken a bit of a head start in 2017 as can be exemplified by things such as these “Stories in Stone” articles and our monthly lectures. In addition, we’d like to expand upon cemetery walking tours, visitor assistance with genealogy and family history of those interred here, special commemorative events and anniversaries, educational partnerships (through school field trips), interpretive displays (such as historic waysides) and unique commemorative plantings. Best of all, we will have the opportunity, and more

​As mentioned earlier, the Board Directors answered the call with the initial seed money donation of $25,000 to start the fund. Special thanks goes to Colleen Remsberg, President Tim Horman, Vice President Emil Bennett, Vice President Andy Radcliffe, Treasurer Jim Summers, Bruce Jett, Dale Summers, Mary Ann Frank, Connie Snook, Bert Anderson and cemetery superintendent Ron Pearcey.  One additional donation of note also came from the Board’s legal counsel, Clay Martz.  

You are invited to make a tax-deductible contribution of your own to this fund. Make it in your name, or in the name of a loved-one or family who resides within the garden-cemetery's gates. As stated at the onset, our interred cemetery population of over 40,000 represents a mirror on the Frederick community, or better yet, the foundation for our Frederick Community. It’s a “who’s who” of Frederick’s past, with grave memorials and monuments keeping alive the names and memories of those who truly gave us the Frederick that we cherish today. ​

​Yeah, there’s Francis Scott Key, Barbara Fritchie and Gov. Thomas Johnson, but let’s not forget the contributions of former community pillars and veterans whose names grace our streets, parks, businesses. It is these people who gave back to Frederick through their dedication, vision, unselfishness, and money.  They formed, or gave birth to, our many church and civic groups, beneficial societies, non-profits and charitable organizations that have aided our citizenry and community for centuries—and the same we hopefully remember on Giving Tuesdays and 364 days throughout the rest of the year. Mount Olivet Cemetery is more than just a burying ground, it’s a “museum without walls.”  This fund, and the monetary support that it will provide into the future, will ensure that this special place continues to thrive and stay relevant into eternity as these life “Stories in Stone” are certainly worth preserving.

 

History and Heritage

Many people assume that “downed,” and leaning grave markers are products of vandalism or shoddy care. This is incorrect. Most have toppled due to the fact that graves of the 19th century lacked the underlying support foundations that are commonplace in the cemetery’s 20th and 21st century interments. Early graves and reburials lacked vaults of any kind, others consisted of brick vaults or simple “over coverings” of a casket with a slab of slate stone. Over time, the weight from above has caused a collapse as the slate and brick has given way. In other cases, most monument dies are simply held up by iron rods. Moisture can get to these inner pinnings and rust them out. Ground movement underneath (as mentioned), or a strong wind can fell these tombstones at will. In addition, fissures can develop based on weather, causing a stone to crack or a delicate angel’s wing to break. Weather and pollution are also to blame for monument discoloration and other things like algae growth and mineral buildup on marble and granite stones alike.

125012463_3435407989884582_2732141301948
 
 
Screenshot_edited.jpg

Yeah, there’s Francis Scott Key, Barbara Fritchie and Gov. Thomas Johnson

but let’s not forget the contributions of former community pillars and veterans whose names grace our streets, parks, businesses. It is these people who gave back to Frederick through their dedication, vision, unselfishness, and money.  They formed, or gave birth to, our many church and civic groups, beneficial societies, non-profits and charitable organizations that have aided our citizenry and community for centuries—and the same we hopefully remember on Giving Tuesdays and 364 days throughout the rest of the year. Mount Olivet Cemetery is more than just a burying ground, it’s a “museum without walls.”  This fund, and the monetary support that it will provide into the future, will ensure that this special place continues to thrive and stay relevant into eternity as these life “Stories in Stone” are certainly worth preserving.

​For more information on giving to the Mount Olivet Preservation & Enhancement Fund, please contact the Community Foundation by clicking on the logo below or contact Mount Olivet Preservation Manager Chris Haugh at (301) 662-1164. Click our Friends of Mount Olivet to learn more about social and volunteer opportunities.

 
125188037_3435405433218171_5894274924525
 

(301) 662-1164

©2020 by Mount Olivet Cemetery. Proudly created with Wix.com