During the 1800's, possibly as many as 1,500 African American Frederick
residents may have been buried in this cemetery operated by the "black" fraternal
order of the Beneficial Society of the Laboring Sons, who purchased the
property from Ezra HOUCK in 1851.
In 1949, the city bought the property and it was turned into a city park; however, the graves were never moved. The tombstones were said to have been buried. As time went by, the cemetery was forgotten, the park was renamed Chapel Park and playground equipment was erected.
In January 2000, the city became aware of the cemetery when graves were discovered beneath the playground. Since then, the playground equipment has been removed and the area is an open park. A memorial park has been planned and final planning and budgeting is now in progress (July 2002). A granite monument is planned, etched with the names of the 160 people known to be buried there. It is expected to be completed in January 2003.
UPDATE - These are photos of the completion of the monument (2005).
website by Dorinda Davis Shepley