HISTORY OF JACOBS CEMETERY

Jacobs Cemetery is a 200-grave cemetery located on Miller's Church Road, north and East of Leitersburg, Maryland. The Lutheran church that carried the name Jacobs Church was established about 1790 on land donated by Martin Jacobs. There were few burials after 1900 and the struggling church failed in 1971. The property was slowly vandalized as parties were held on the property. In 1990 the county bought the land that the church sat on while the cemetery property passed to St. Paul's in Leitersburg. Maintenance at the cemetery stopped and the church burned and was gone by 1995. The cemetery became even more overgrown and vandalized. In 1998 the county placed a guard rail along the part of the cemetery not protected by the stone wall or woods. This prevented most off road parking and the parties essentially ceased. By this time the cemetery was a weed and young tree infested jumble of broken and missing tombstones.

On of the Mentzers buried at Jacobs was John Mentzer who was born in 1765 near Lancaster Pennsylvania, and died in 1822. The early records of Jacobs Church show that John was a member.

In 2000 another John Mentzer and his 4th cousin Robert Mentzer, both direct descendants of the original John Mentzer visited the cemetery and stumbled over the broken off headstone of John Mentzer. They decided to see if the cemetery could be restored with a reasonable effort. In November they returned and spent the day clearing the brush and small trees from a 40 foot swath along the south end of the cemetery that included John's grave. They decided the restoration was feasible and over the next 4 years made about 6 trips a year, bringing any volunteers they could get.

Richard Keely, whose farm borders 3 sides of the cemetery, and who had worked for years to get the vandalism stopped, was a huge help and our biggest cheer leader.

In 2001, Tom Atkins, whose wife has Clopper relatives buried there, joined the effort. Tom brought his landscaping business partner, Ray Boltz, down and they accurately mapped the cemetery in November on 2001. We could find only about 60 grave sites with intact headstones or broken off headstones. Tom Brought a probe and we began to find initialed footstones buried in front of the headstones. It turned out that many cemeteries found that cutting the grass around the footstones was too time consuming so they removed the footstones and buried them in front of the headstones. Probing for these footstones became the best way to locating gravesites.

Over the years we that we have been working at Jacobs we saw little evidence of recent vandalism. This we attribute to the guard rail hindering parking. We began a program of cementing upright the remaining headstones and the footstones of sites with no headstones. In May of 2005 Ray Boltz returned and remapped the cemetery. We now have identified and erected stones at about 150 of the 200 gravesites.

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This is a phamphlet isued circa 1926 as part of the 150th year celebration

of the founding of Washington County Maryland.

Church Sketch

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Here are some early pictures of the cemetery followed by pictures of it's decline and then the restoration

church church2
church3 church4
DEDICATION dec2004