Renner Cemetery

Photo added by Glenn Wallace

Renner Cemetery

Catoctin Furnace, Frederick County, Maryland, USA
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The Renner Burial Site is an unmarked, late 18th through early 19th-century African-American cemetery in Frederick County. Fieldstone markers, primarily of local quartzite and limestone, indicated the interments of probable African-American slaves associated with the Catoctin Iron Works. This cemetery was laid out in north-south rows spaced ten feet apart, with graves oriented east to west approximately four feet apart. All 35 graves were single interment coffin burials, with one exception: a child interred directly above an adult female. Individuals were buried supine, with heads to the west, and in an extended position with hands folded over the abdomen. Rectangular and pinch-toe type coffins were made of white oak and chestnut. Age at death in this cemetery population ranged from neonate to elderly, and the condition of the skeletal remains varied from poor to excellent.

Historical documents indicate that the individuals buried at Renner Burial between 1790-1840 worked in a variety of occupations, some at the Catoctin Iron Furnace Complex and others in the local community. Even though age and sex distributions within the cemetery appear to be random, some individuals seem to have been buried in groups, possibly providing evidence of family interments. The burials appeared to reflect European Christian mortuary practices, but there was also evidence of possible African American folk beliefs, such as the presence of fruit and seed funeral wreaths, as opposed to flowers, in three of the interments.

For more information, visit the Archaelological Collections in Maryland, or contact the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society.

GPS Coordinates: 39.57566, -77.43366

  • Added: 14 Mar 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2637379