History of Percy Cemetery
Unbecoming neglect is bad enough, but when we knowingly permit dastardly desecration of the graves of our dead, no English term is scarcely strong enough to characterize the enormity of the offence [sic]. And this is saying nothing of those who commit these depredations upon graves, vaults, and tombstones—who invade the city of the dead with game and carousel and make its "holy ground" a resort for worse than thieves and money changers.
We learn this property belongs to the Corporation. Our Mayor and Council are therefore expected to look into this matter and provide effective remedies for the existing disorder and preventatives against further desecration.
Now, the correspondent's letter:
The Old Cemetery. One beautiful evening a short time ago, the writer, in company with a friend, paid a visit to the old Cemetery on the hill, and to express an opinion in the mildest form with reference to its present condition is to say that we were shocked at the utter neglect and destruction which seem to pervade and reign supreme over that small city of the dead.
The outer fence upon the eastern side has been almost entirely pulled down and carried away, probably for fire wood by some cowardly miscreants who were too proud to beg and afraid to steal, except to rob the dead of the enclosure which surrounds them. The other portions of the fence are in a dilapidated condition at almost any point, affording ingress for cattle and hogs which roam throughout in undisputed possession and root and tear in all directions.
Within the limits of this cemetery are a goodly number of small enclosures in which are buried some of the old residents of our town of years ago, as also the friends and family connection of those who have long since removed to other parts of the country. A majority of these enclosures have been stripped of all the palings, the locks and hinges of the gates are gone and the desolation is complete. We have also been informed that it is next to impossible to keep either lock or hinges upon the gates of the small enclosures belonging to the various families of the town at the present time. The brick walls of the few old vaults present the appearance of having been investigated by boys in pursuit of ground squirrels, while many of the headstones of graves not enclosed have been knocked down and, in some instances, carried away from the grave and broken in pieces. We think the fiend incarnate whose devilish heart prompted such dastardly acts is not fit to live among men and would be a disgrace to the denizens of perdition.
While standing near a locust my friend, while pushing his cane among the rubbage collected about its base, accidentally unearthed an empty whiskey bottle, and we have been informed that frequently upon Sabbath days, boys are seen engaged at cards within this enclosure, thus showing that the sanctity of the dead is violated by the incursions of drunken revellers [sic] and youthful gamblers. My friend also informed me that he had upon one occasion put out some flowers and shrubbery upon the grave of his little babe, and upon a subsequent visit he found, not only the flowers gone, but the plants actually rooted out and lying near. The beautiful location of this old Cemetery upon such a prominent site, together with other attractions, would be an inducement for the friends of those who are sleeping there to beautify and adorn the
Anthony E. Crosby and Michael R. Olson
28 x 22 cms
Cemeteries, Maryland, Frostburg; Obituaries, Maryland, Frostburg. .
Frostburg (Md.), 1800-1972