|Charles Town Pike (Route 9)|
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Small cemetery, fully bounded by a mostly-intact rock wall. The wrought iron gate at the back is accessed by traveling along a private driveway. The owners have set aside a small parking area/turn-around under a tree, with a black wooden fence enclosing a trail to the gate. There is a second (much easier) way into the cemetery directly off Charles Town Pike (just north of the bridge and just barely past the "do not pass" sign). You'll be faced with two cattle gates, but the first usually stands wide open (this takes you off Charles Town Pike and onto a small dirt track), and the second (about 40 yards along) is not locked and opens easily. There is room here to park without blocking the dirt road. You can clearly see the cemetery from here, and it's only a short hike in. From here, you can enter the cemetery in a spot where the wall has crumbled away.
Be SURE to use the GPS Coordinates (39.16274 -77.64527) provided on Find A Grave! Just typing "Catoctin Free Church Cemetery" into the popular mapping programs will take you to a VERY small, barely there clump of graves in someone's yard a few miles away--possibly the original site of the Catoctin Free Church.
The cemetery proper is in a bad shape. Many stones are down (some of those face-down), more are broken, and the entire place is on an incline. It's lovely, but overgrown, and if I were poison ivy, ticks, or snakes, I'd hang out there. I recommend long pants, long sleeves, and Deet or pre-treating clothing with permethrin.
The cemetery is called "Catoctin Free Church Cemetery" because it used to be associated with an adjoining church where a number of different denominations worshiped. The original church was wood frame, but was replaced with brick in 1814. It burned to the ground 1878, but was rebuilt using the same bricks. In 1929, the church was leveled by a tornado and never rebuilt.
Be sure to close the gate as there are goats in the area.