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Westminster Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
The 18th- and 19th- century cemetery opens through an Egyptian influenced iron entrance gate designed by Maximilien Godefroy. A great number of famous Marylanders are interred here, including many Revolutionary patriots and veterans of the War of 1812. Within the cemetery are numerous examples of funerary art and the graves of such notables as Edgar Allen Poe, Colonel James McHenry (signer of the U.S. Constitution and Secretary of War under Washington and Adams), David Stodder (U.S.S. CONSTELLATION), and Robert Smith (Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General in Jefferson's Cabinet). A monument in the cemetery to Edgar Allen Poe was donated by the school children of Baltimore.

In 1852, the City of Baltimore passed a city ordinance prohibiting cemeteries which were not adjacent to a religious structure. At that time the graveyard was called the old Western Burying Grounds, but as there was no church in connection with the historic cemetery, the Westminster Presbyterian Church was built directly over the graveyard. The early Gothic Revival church was constructed of brick with brownstone trim and very little ornament. Its greatest significance is the protection it provides for the burial vaults and tombs that are preserved underneath it.

The Westminster Presbyterian Church and Cemetery is located at 509 W. Fayette St. The Cemetery is open to the public, call 410-706-2072 for further information.


[rotating photos]
Westminster Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
[photo-Edgar Allen Poe's grave]
Grave site of Edgar Allen Poe
Photos by Jeff Joeckel, National
Register of Historic Places

 

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