| The 18th- and 19th- century cemetery opens through an Egyptian
influenced iron entrance gate designed by Maximilien Godefroy.
A great number of famous Marylanders are interred here, including many Revolutionary
patriots and veterans of the War of 1812. Within the cemetery are numerous examples
of funerary art and the graves of such notables as Edgar Allen
Poe, Colonel James McHenry (signer of the U.S. Constitution and Secretary
of War under Washington and Adams), David Stodder (U.S.S. CONSTELLATION), and
Robert Smith (Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General in Jefferson's Cabinet).
A monument in the cemetery to Edgar Allen Poe was donated by the school children
In 1852, the City of Baltimore passed a city ordinance prohibiting cemeteries which were not adjacent to a religious structure. At that time the graveyard was called the old Western Burying Grounds, but as there was no church in connection with the historic cemetery, the Westminster Presbyterian Church was built directly over the graveyard. The early Gothic Revival church was constructed of brick with brownstone trim and very little ornament. Its greatest significance is the protection it provides for the burial vaults and tombs that are preserved underneath it.
The Westminster Presbyterian Church and Cemetery is located at 509 W. Fayette St. The Cemetery is open to the public, call 410-706-2072 for further information.
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