Sumner Cemetery - CHCO
Historic Cemetery Organization sets Memorial Day event
CUMBERLAND—The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Sumner Cemetery, Yale Street. The ceremony will be held in the cemetery at the site of the Union Soldiers Civil War Monument.
The cemetery is Allegany County's first all black cemetery. The land was owned by the McKaig's, a local Confederate family, who, in 1884, gave the land to The Sons of Sumner. Most of the graves in the cemetery are unmarked, however, Edward Taylor Jr., CHCO president, stated that he believes there are graves in the cemetery that pre-date 1884.
The cemetery was adopted by the CHCO on Jan. 24, 1990. Since that time, members and various other groups have helped maintain and restore the cemetery. Volunteers have included Jacob Taylor, Leonard Beard, Delores Trimble, former CHCO Vice President Terrance Boyle and Virginia Williams. Since 1990, the Edward Taylor Jr. family has funded most of the projects in this cemetery.
The Green Ridge Boys Forestry Camp has done tremendous work in the cemetery, cutting and clearing tall grass and brush that would not have been able to be removed otherwise.
In 1991, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization discovered the graves of six black Civil War soldiers. Money was raised by the organization and on Memorial Day 1991 a three-layer gray granite monument and flag pole were unveiled. During that ceremony, former Cumberland Mayor Harry Stern was the first to raise the flag on the pole. The monument tells the story of the men buried at the site.
In 1995 Susan Soderburg published a Maryland Civil War monuments book entitled Lest We Forget. The book features the Sumner monument.
The ceremony is open to the public.
Donations to the cemetery may be mailed to Sumner Cemetery, 806 Maryland Ave., Cumberland, MD 21502. Mel Collins, left, Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization vice president, and Ed Taylor Jr., president, stand at the Union Soldiers' monument, Sumner Cemetery, Yale Street, erected by the CHCO in 1991. The CHCO will hold its annual Memorial Day program Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the monument site.
The Cumberland Times-News
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008