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Preserving a noble heritage for future generations

by Judith Hruz


Members of the community gathered on Memorial Day at Mutual Memorial Cemetery in Sandy Spring to celebrate the progress that has been made on restoring the hallowed ground that means so much to them.

With the assistance of grants and personal donations, 125 gravestones have been restored, new signs and an exhibit the portrays the history of the cemetery dating back to the 1800s were installed, said Dr. Paul Scott, who has spearheaded the project in the small cemetery on Brooke Road.

Mutual Memorial Cemetery, originally Cedar Mount Cemetery, was officially established in 1873 as part of the historic Freedman’s Village of Sandy Spring, one of the oldest free black communities in Maryland.

Sarah Awkard cut the ribbon, officially marking the occasion. Members of the cemetery foundation committee are (from left to right) Kym Awkard, Taniea Bacon, Sarah Awkard, Scott, Marylah Martin and Henry Martin.

The project is important, Scott said, as some gravestones were in horrible disrepair and others were almost about to disappear into the ground.

Repairing them helps to reinvigorate the story of the Black community.

“Those who come behind us will have some sense of history,” Scott said.

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