Whether you are a taphophile, with a passion for studying graves and cemeteries, or an amateur genealogist researching family history, Dorchester County has an abundance of historic sites to inspire and encourage a wide range of interests. Dorchester is one of the oldest counties in Maryland and its early history was intimately tied to religion.
Dorchester’s unique history is often found buried throughout the county, where burial sites depict centuries of American history and culture dating back to the late 17th Century. The area’s extraordinary churches and cemeteries hold a wealth of stories about inspiring people and remarkable leaders who left their mark on Maryland, as well as significant historical events as far back as the Revolutionary War and Civil War.
Churches played a significant role on the Underground Railroad, providing sanctuary for freedom seekers and resources to help them resettle. Their important legacy uniting and sustaining African-American communities continued through the decades, and they emerged as leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.
Among the area’s significant cemeteries and churches are:
- Cambridge Cemetery, which includes the tomb of Governor Holliday Hicks, who prevented the Maryland General Assembly from passing legislation that would have sent Maryland into the Confederacy.
- Old Trinity Church and Cemetery, the Oldest Episcopal Church in continuous use in the United States. Built in 1675, its cemetery includes the grave of Anna Ella Carroll, a member of President Lincoln’s cabinet whom scholars regard as one of the Capitol’s most gifted politicians and “the woman who saved the union.”
- Malone’s Church, which features the graves of many of Harriet Tubman’s family members, including her nephew and in-laws, and several civil war veterans.
- Bethel AME Church, the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cambridge, which was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Cambridge, serving as a meeting place for congregants to strategize, and plan their sit-ins and their walks through Cambridge.
- Faith United Methodist Church, founded by the Rev. Sam Green, who also served as an Underground Railroad agent, helping Harriet Tubman and many others to freedom.
- Christ Episcopal Church in Cambridge, built in 1883. An example of Gothic architecture, constructed of green serpentine stone, the 32 stained glass windows are the highlight of this structure. Inside the needlepoint kneelers portraying Eastern Shore themes set this church apart. Outside, four governors of Maryland are buried in the historic cemetery.