August 31, 2020 - In July 2020, site preparation began at Frederick Health Hospital as
the organization resumes construction, entering the final phase of an
expansion project that started in 2014. This construction project will
complete the Emergency Department renovations, expand the Emergency Crisis
Unit, and re-envision the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac
In both 2001 and 2014, construction at the hospital property uncovered
historical remains from the original Greenmount Cemetery. Established
in the late 1800s, Greenmount Cemetery was one of three graveyards where
people of color in Frederick could be buried. When Frederick City Hospital
was established in 1902, the two properties bordered one another. The
cemetery property was eventually sold to Frederick City Hospital in the
1920s and all graves were thought to be relocated to Fairview Cemetery
at that time.
Construction is set to resume this fall and Frederick Health has taken
action to ensure any remains still interred on the original cemetery grounds
are located and treated with the utmost compassion and respect. Using
ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology, Frederick Health has conducted
a survey of the construction site to aid in locating any remaining historical
Officials from the State’s Attorney’s Office, State and local
law enforcement, the medical examiner’s office, and the health department,
are also engaged in the process to ensure that appropriate steps are taken
if remains are located.
Building on a partnership that began in 2014, Frederick Health and the
African American Resources, Cultural Heritage Society (AARCH) will continue
their work together to honor those individuals originally laid to rest
at Greenmount Cemetery.
In 2014, AARCH Society approached Frederick Health to discuss an initiative
to recognize Greenmount Cemetery, in a respectful and compassionate way.
Out of that discussion, a partnership began, and the two organizations
continue to work together to find meaningful ways to share the deep history
of Frederick County’s diverse community.
In 2017, Frederick Health and AARCH worked together to create the Greenmount
Memorial Garden, a sacred place to memorialize and honor those originally
buried at Greenmount Cemetery. Located near the main entrance of Frederick
Health Hospital, the garden was officially dedicated in May of 2018 and
provides an opportunity for family members, and the community, to honor
over 900 people of color who were buried there.
David Key, President of AARCH, along with many members of the society,
collaborate often with Frederick Health to provide historical exhibits
and presentations to Frederick Health’s employees and volunteers;
ultimately creating a space for open dialog. The
mission of AARCH Society is to preserve and share the history and culture of African Americans
in Frederick County, so that we can all grow in understanding. By engaging
in conversation, we can all be part of the solution to the injustices
that have thus far been inseparable from the story of who we are.
Frederick Health’s mission is to positively impact the well-being
of every individual in our community. In a
recent statement, Tom Kleinhanzl, President and CEO of Frederick Health, reiterated that
Frederick Health is committed to addressing the effects of inequity and
developing collaborative solutions that point our community toward a healthier future.
AARCH society and Frederick Health will continue working together to plan
a final interment ceremony to be held at Fairview Cemetery. During this
ceremony, the group plans to place a headstone honoring those who were
originally laid to rest at Greenmount Cemetery. The inscription on the
headstone created by AARCH will read “The souls resting at this
site will never realize the progress we have made, nor the importance
they played in our advancement. With our promise to work toward a kind
and loving community for all, we give honor and thanks to those who have
gone before us.”
Completion of the construction project at Frederick Health Hospital is
slated for fall 2023. If you have questions about the upcoming construction
project, the historic Greenmount Cemetery, or planning for the final interment
ceremony, please contact Frederick Health and/or AARCH Society.
To read the list names of those thought to be buried at Greenmount Cemetery, visit
click here. A special thank you to Dr. David Wallace, who dedicated his time to developing
and maintaining this list of names.