For anyone who’s been around this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m not a big history person. That is absolutely Sean’s domain. Occasionally, I will begrudgingly visit a museum just to make him happy. But it’s really not my thing. However, one aspect of history I do enjoy is old historic cemeteries. There’s just something about wandering through rows of old moss-covered grave markers that is so intriguing to me. And since it’s October and spooky season I figured now would be the perfect time to visit one of the oldest in Maryland: Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick.
Mount Olivet is considered one of the most beautiful and distinguished burial grounds in the country. The cemetery has provided a final resting place for generations of residents over the last century and a half. Among the 40,000 interments, notable gravesites include those belonging to Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote “The Star-Spangled-Banner”; one of the top female heroines of the American Civil War; and a leading figure in the American Revolution who would go on to serve as the first elected governor of Maryland.
Over eight miles of paved road criss-cross through the grounds which are open daily from about sunrise to sunset. There are a few parking spots near the church and visitor center on the north end of the cemetery. There are also occasional tours, particularly during the Halloween season, but it’s easy enough to navigate on your own. I also wouldn’t recommend these tours with young children. Our 11-month-old definitely would not have lasted the full hour.
We happened to visit on a gloomy, misty day – which ordinarily wouldn’t be ideal weather for most outdoor activities – but provided the perfect backdrop for exploring this expansive stretch of hallowed ground.
Frederick itself is an adorable little town. Several blocks of the downtown area are lined with quaint shops and cafes. There’s also a beautiful river walk and street after street of adorable old homes. I definitely want to come back to explore Frederick properly on a day when it’s not raining!