St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Point of Rocks, Maryland

28 07 2011

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was built in 1842 upon land that was donated by the Wirts (Virts) and Duvall families.  The building material was donated by Dr. Lloyd Duvall and was built primarily by slaves. It opened for worship in 1843 and was dedicated by Bishop W. R. Whittingham.  According to sources it was also used to house slaves escaping to freedom via the Underground Railroad.  The nearby “Cooling Springs” farm has a rich history is assisting people making their journey towards freedom.

The church which is Federal in style is remarkably preserved and surrounded by a well-kept cemetery.  It is situated on a lovely crest with commanding views of the Catoctin and Sugarloaf mountains.

During the civil war the church was used as a hospital by the Union Troops.

The region is well know for Calico Rock and there  are several  remarkable tombstone made of the rock.  Calico Rocks is a quartz and limestone conglomerate and also know as Potomac Marble.  Point of Rocks has an abundance of the stone in the area.

If you are traveling in Frederick County, MD it is well worth your time to detour from the main road and travel back into time.

h your time to detour from the main road and travel back into time.

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The Day I Found my Grandmother

14 03 2009
central-cemetery-gate2New Market, Maryland is an area rich with lore and history.  In the late 1700’s it emerged as a popular trade route.  It is estimated that over three million people traveled through New Market from 1820-1850.  Today it has been deemed the Antiques Capital of Maryland. Charming Main Street is lined with homes from the Federal period, many of them are antique stores filled with treasures. As you meander the back alley’s and narrow cobble walk ways you almost transcend in time. 
 
Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to move to New Market.  On moving day – we drove past  the Central Church Cemetery –  about a mile from my home.  Dad reminded me that we had relatives buried there one of which included my G-G-G-G Grandmother.    
 
 After driving by the cemetery on a daily basis for two months, I decided to take advantage of the sunny winter day and go grave hunting. 
 My quest was to find Henrietta Gardiner my G-G-G-G Grandmother.  I had my teenage girls in tow, who were already complaining…mind you were were just entering the cemetery gate.  Caitlin said, “How are we going to find her?”  I turned to her, placed my index finger to my lips asking her to shh. 
 

Always looking for humor I said… “Be quiet, they are sleeping.”

   
I methodically worked my way through the cemetery row by row.  My girls opted a more “free-style” search which was more or less just random running.  Caitlin was the first to spot it and called me over…there she was… my G-G-G-G Grandmother. 
 
 Henrietta Simpson Gardiner born 1790 in Maryland.  The daughter of Basil Simpson and Sarah Worthington.  In 1823 Henrietta married William Gardiner in Rockville, Maryland.  William Gardiner according to family lore stowed away on ship setting sail from Ireland arriving in America @1819.  Henrietta Simpson Gardiner is buried beneath the same monument of her brother Francis Simpson, and her sister, Elizabeth Simpson  Clarke.  As we made our way around the monument our mouths dropped open as we read the words on the front of the monument. 
 it reads:

“Open the Gate gently they are not dead but sleeping.” 

Open the Gate

Total coincidence, divine intervention or a clue from my dear Grandmother.  You be the judge. What it was I don’t know or really care. I was thankful to find the grave and think of her everyday as I dive by my heritage, right here in New Market, MD.