Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Darnestown in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology

The Graveyard

 

—Darnestown —

 
Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
1. Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology Marker
Inscription. Several recorded accounts identified that 20 to 30 individuals, including members of the Darne family, were buried here. Given the high infant mortality rates until the mid-19th century even the youngest residents of Darnestown were vulnerable to the hardships of life, disease, and death.

The mystery remains as to who were the occupants of this graveyard. Between 1994-1999 historical research and several archeological digs were conducted to help shed some light on the question. The nearby Darnestown Presbyterian Church had a cemetery that dates from the 19th century; it is possible that residents not affiliated with this congregation were buried in this smaller non-secular graveyard. Equally, travelers whose demise occurred while in Darnestown may been put to rest in this lot. The lack of tombstones could also indicate patronage by some residents lacking financial resources for an elaborate burial. There is even a possibility that some unidentified graves belong to Union soldiers.

Because of a variety of factors -- missing markers, possible grave robbing, neglect over time -- this cemetery was lost to the ages. The occupants might be nameless, but certainly not forgotten.
 
Erected 2012 by Montgomery Parks.
 
Location. 39° 
Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
2. Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology Marker
6.2′ N, 77° 17.456′ W. Marker is in Darnestown, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Darnestown Road just from Seneca Road. Touch for map. The marker is in The Darnestown Square Heritage Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14029 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg MD 20878, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Disease, Death, and Medical Discoveries During the Civil War (here, next to this marker); A 19th Century Crossroads (here, next to this marker); Andrew Small Academy (here, next to this marker); The Origins of Darnestown (here, next to this marker); Darnestown: A Strategic Point of Defense (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Troops & Darnestown Residents (within shouting distance of this marker); The Signal Corps and Wartime Communications (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War in Darnestown (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Darnestown.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial Sites
 
Darnestown Presbyterian Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
3. Darnestown Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Close-up of photo on marker
Gravestone Fragments image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
4. Gravestone Fragments
Archaeology performed in the 1990s revealed the presence of 22 graves. A few marble gravestones were uncovered but lacked any identification or ornamentation.
Close-up of photo on marker
Casket Handle Found During Archeological Dig image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
5. Casket Handle Found During Archeological Dig
Perhaps the most revealing artifact discovered during the archeological dig was an elaborate 1895 coffin handle make of Britannia silver and wood. By the 1890s, Victorian funerals were and event to display wealth and status. No expense was too great for a proper burial. The handles make this task easier and gave invited guests one final somber ornament to examine. The profession of undertaking became specialized in the late 20th century, and elements like ornate casket handles were promoted to celebrated death.
Close-up of photo on sidebar "Victorian Funeral Processions"
Lincoln Funeral Procession image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
6. Lincoln Funeral Procession
The Funeral procession of President Abraham Lincoln was quite elaborate and well attended. His walnut, lead-lined coffin had four silver handles and four shamrocks formed by silver tracks on each side.
Close-up of image on sidebar "Victorian Funeral Processions"
R. Norton
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement