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About Our Cemetery

Our History and Function

Rockville Cemetery is among our community’s oldest burial grounds and is located along Baltimore Road in the eastern portion of the City of Rockville, the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland. The upper, western section of the cemetery is separated by age, a stream, and a dramatic change in elevation from the lower, eastern section. With gravestones dating from 1752 to the present, it is a classic 19th century rural cemetery alongside a mid-20th century lawn style cemetery. The entire property is designated as a Rockville Historic District.

Burials in the frontier began soon after an Anglican chapel of ease was established here in 1738; the oldest extant tombstone is dated 1752. Nearly a century later, Christ Episcopal Church moved its congregation into the small town of Rockville but continued to use the graveyard. In 1880, representatives of five Protestant denominations incorporated the Rockville Cemetery Association of Montgomery County. The upper cemetery evolved into a stunning example of the Rural Cemetery movement, where the picturesque landscape, curving roads, attractive monuments, and plantings provided continuity for families and the community. Demand for space led to the addition of the lower cemetery, which was laid out in 1936 by Philadelphia landscape architect Robert Cridland as a handsome Lawn Cemetery. The entire property consists of 26.64 acres in which more than 5,000 individuals are buried. As Rockville continued to grow, so did the cemetery and the property was annexed into the City boundaries in 1984. Burials are still conducted regularly throughout the year. Rockville Cemetery has experienced highs and lows in its nearly 300-year history. Rejuvenated by the new corporation in the 1880s, the neglected cemetery’s future brightened under new stewardship and functioned as a community burial ground accessible to all. The Rockville Union Cemetery Society, an active women’s group led by Rebecca Thomas (Biays) Veirs, assumed management and maintenance to transform the property from a veritable wilderness into a place of quiet beauty. By the late 20th century, though, Association membership, cemetery maintenance and community interest had all declined dramatically.  That would change and conditions improve dramatically with the incorporation of the current Rockville Cemetery Association. (See Rockville Cemetery Association)

The roster of persons buried at Rockville Cemetery reads like a “Who’s Who” of Montgomery County and Rockville. Here you’ll find familiar local family names, veterans from every American military conflict, town mayors and county officials, farmers and tradespersons, and well-known names in baseball, aviation, education, literature, public service, and various professional occupations.  For the generations of family histories it preserves, combined with the tranquil setting in which it resides, the cemetery has become an increasingly popular sanctuary for reflection, remembrance, and leisure among the community it continues to serve.

Perpetual Care

As a Perpetual Care Cemetery, our sole function is to provide a desirable and respectful burial ground location for the interment of the deceased. To clarify, as Rockville Cemetery IS NOT a full-service cemetery operation, we are not able to offer or provide preparation, funeral, or monument services.

According to Section 5-601, Business Regulation Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, the term “perpetual care” regarding cemeteries “means the maintenance, including the cutting of grass abutting memorials or monuments, administration, supervision and embellishment of a cemetery and its grounds, roads, and paths; and includes the repair and renewal of buildings, including columbaria and mausoleums, and the property of the cemetery.”

Accordingly, 10% of all fees for purchase of gravesites and niches are set aside by RCA in our Perpetual Care Account. Earnings from this account are used to conduct perpetual care activities, as defined above.

Please note: All interment site and columbaria niche sales are FINAL. Perpetual Care does not include the purchase, installation, maintenance, or care of RCA-approved grave monument objects (i.e. headstones), as these objects are the property of site owners.

Policies for Visitors and Site Owners

Rockville Cemetery Association maintains a complete listing of all conditions affecting public use of Rockville Cemetery to preserve its historic character, ensure respectful activity, and provide its benefits to all visitors and site owners equally. All individuals should carefully read and fully understand these conditions in advance of your visit or if considering the purchase of a burial site or columbarium niche.

Public Use Policies and Guidelines [OR DOWNLOAD PDF]

Rockville Cemetery Site Brochure [DOWNLOAD PDF]

Notable Burials at Rockville Cemetery

A stroll through the grounds of Rockville Cemetery reveals several recognizable names which are familiar in City of Rockville and Montgomery County histories, with several having achieved significant service and contributions well beyond the State of Maryland alone. Some of these accomplished individuals include:

Lucy Virginia Barnsley

Lucy Virginia Barnsley (1881-1963)

A graduate of Towson State Normal School in 1901, Barnsley taught in a one-room schoolhouse on Avery Road and later at Rockville Elementary School. She helped organize the Retired Teachers Association, and was an active member of the Methodist Church, 4-H, and Girl Scouts. Recognized as Maryland’s Mother of the Year in 1957, and Outstanding Graduate of Maryland State Teacher’s College in 1961, Lucy Barnsley Elementary School – dedicated in 1966 – was the first Montgomery County school to be named for a woman.

(Section H, Lot 18, Site 2)

Vashti Rebecca Bartlett

Vashti Rebecca Bartlett (1873-1969)

A graduate of Towson State Normal School in 1901, Barnsley taught in a one-room schoolhouse on Avery Road and later at Rockville Elementary School. She helped organize the Retired Teachers Association, and was an active member of the Methodist Church, 4-H, and Girl Scouts. Recognized as Maryland’s Mother of the Year in 1957, and Outstanding Graduate of Maryland State Teacher’s College in 1961, Lucy Barnsley Elementary School – dedicated in 1966 – was the first Montgomery County school to be named for a woman.

(Section M, Lot 7, Site 5)

Upton Beall (1770-1827)

The Beall family has a distinguished history in the civic, social, and political development of Georgetown and Montgomery County since the 1700s, and several members are interred at Rockville Cemetery.  Upton Beall served as the 2nd Clerk of the Court for Montgomery County, and built the Beall-Dawson House in Rockville in 1815.

(Section B2, Lot 13, Site 4)

Judge Richard Johns Bowie (1807-1881)

One of the most respected figures in Montgomery County during the 19th century, he served as a U.S. Congressman, in the Maryland House of Delegates and State Senate, as State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, and as Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.  Judge Bowie owned the expansive farm adjacent to Rockville Cemetery known as Glenview, which exists today as Rockville Civic Center Park.  One of his final civic actions was to incorporate the Rockville Cemetery Association, serving as its first president and donating five acres of land for additional burying grounds.

(Section D1, Lot 3, Site 6)

Stephen Cluskey Cromwell

Dr. Stephen Cluskey Cromwell, Jr. (1925-2015)

A lifelong Rockville resident, during WWII Cromwell joined the Navy as a Pharmacist Mate First Class, served in both European and Pacific campaigns, tended to wounded at the Battle of Normandy, and witnessed the Japanese surrender onboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Returning to attend medical school, Dr. Cromwell served the Rockville community as a general physician for 45 years. An active Rotarian for over six decades, he volunteered as first President of the current Rockville Cemetery Association and led revitalization of the property as it entered the 21st century.

(Section 1, Lot 180, Site 2)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

One of America’s most celebrated writers, author of such works as The Great Gatsby, and often credited with creating the term “The Jazz Age,” Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were originally interred at Rockville Cemetery in the 1940s.  In 1975, their remains were moved to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rockville.

(Previously interred in Section C2, Lot 11, Site 2)

Henry Hilleary

Henry Hilleary (1738-1792)

Hilleary is one of two known Revolutionary War patriots buried at Rockville Cemetery, having taken the Oath of Allegiance on March 2, 1778. Born in the Maryland frontier and deceased before Rockville was named, Hilleary was a planter and carpenter who resided near what is now known as Darnestown. In 2015, his service was acknowledged and his grave site marked by the Chevy Chase Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

(Section C1, Lot 11, Site 1)

Walter Perry Johnson

Walter Perry Johnson (1887-1946)

One of the greatest pitchers in major league baseball history and one of the first players  inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the “Big Train” lived on farms in  Montgomery County (in Bethesda and in Germantown) and served as a County Commissioner. Read about “The Hall Ball” and its visit to our Walter Johnson’s gravesite.

(Section M, Lot 18, Site 4)

Col. Paul Peck

Col. Paul Peck (1889-1912)

This young American aviation pioneer began flying seven years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, being granted pilot’s license #57 after only two weeks instruction. Recognized as the first pilot to transport U.S. mail officially and first to fly over the U.S. Capitol, Peck served as an instructor at the first U.S. military aviation school in College Park, MD. Tragically killed in a test flight crash in Chicago, his was reported to be the first funeral procession in D.C. comprised entirely of automobiles.

(Section D2, Lot 25, Site 6)

Judge Edward Stedman Prescott (1896-1968)

Born in Norbeck, Prescott obtained his law degree from Georgetown University after serving as an infantry lieutenant during WWI. His public service career began as a member of the Rockville Town Council, subsequently becoming State’s Attorney and state Senator from Montgomery County. After serving as president of the Maryland State Bar Association, he ultimately was appointed to the highest judicial office as chief judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals. His mausoleum stands proudly in the lower cemetery.

(Section 2, Lot 159, Prescott Mausoleum)

Dr. Edward Elisha Stonestreet (1830-1903)

This prominent Rockville physician served patients in the Rockville area throughout the second half of the 19th century.  A respected member of the community, he was elected one of Rockville’s first councilmen following the newly-adopted town charter of 1888.

(Section A, Lot 2, Site 5)

Rebecca Thomas Veirs (1833-1918)

Rebecca Thomas Veirs (1833-1918)

A Rockville native, Veirs filled leadership roles during an era when women could not vote and Rockville’s potential on the new rail line was being recognized. In 1894 she organized the Ladies’ Auxiliary Cemetery Association to support management of the neglected property governed by a newly formed nonprofit corporation. In addition to operating a boarding house and rental cottage, Ms. Veirs created a 20-lot residential subdivision in the west end, on Thomas and Wall Streets. Upon her death, the Sentinel described her as “a person of natural business capacity rarely possessed by member of her sex…”

(Section D2, Lot 7, Site 9)

Caretaker’s Cottage (Private Residence)

Caretaker’s Cottage (Private Residence)

The historic Caretaker’s Cottage is located in the upper area of the cemetery overlooking both the cemetery grounds and Baltimore Road. It was constructed in 1889 by the original Rockville Cemetery Association of Montgomery County, and intended for the cemetery’s Superintendent and his family who provided day-to-day maintenance of the cemetery grounds and grave sites.

This structure has been preserved by Rockville Cemetery Association and recognized by the City of Rockville as a Historic Site. However, RCA currently maintains this house as a rental property and private residence to receive additional funding to further support maintenance of the cemetery property.

The house and its fenced backyard are closed to the public at all times. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the current residents.

Our Veterans

Veterans at Rockville Cemetery

Rockville Cemetery proudly contains the graves of over 400 individuals identified as U.S. armed services veterans, representing every war since the American Revolution. Rockville Cemetery Association is especially grateful to Mr. Fred Bird, volunteer and former RCA director, who provided countless hours of research to create this list of military veterans displayed here.  Since the 1880s, Rockville Cemetery has paid tribute to these veterans on what was originally known as Decorations Day, and RCA continues to honor this tradition by placing an American flag on each interment site over each Memorial Day weekend. We honor all those who have served our country and dedicate this webpage section in their memory.

Roster of known Rockville Cemetery Service Veterans [DOWNLOAD PDF]

Our Evolving Landscape

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD
Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

The upper cemetery area includes impressive mausoleums containing members of the Pumphrey (top), Schott (middle) and Milor families (foreground), respectively.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Established in the 1930s, Section 2 in the lower cemetery contains many graves representing this country's Greatest Generation.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Among the quietest days for a stroll, a walk through much of the upper cemetery graves transports visitors back to the late 19th century.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Dozens of impressive grave monuments line the upper cemetery's terraces to greet each morning's sunrise.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Section D contains many well-known former citizens, including attorney William Veirs Bouic Jr., first Mayor of Rockville and past president of the cemetery's original association.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

The graves of many well-known former citizens and their families are found throughout the cemetery's burial landscape.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Looking west, from Section 1, provides a vantage point combining several of the cemetery's oldest interments with many most recent.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Patriotic holidays regularly find American flags adorning interment sites representing veterans from every U.S. war.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

The Viett family mausoleum leads many graves overlooking the eastern cemetery from the upper area terraces.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

Looking east from the upper area is an ideal vantage point to view the cemetery's entire vista.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

RCA's annual Memorial Day observance features the placement of flags on the grave sites of American veterans.

Rockville Cemetery, Rockville MD

The enduring tranquility of its grounds make Rockville Cemetery an appealing locale for native wildlife.

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For nearly three centuries, the cultural landscape of Rockville Cemetery has steadily expanded to safeguard more than 5,000 eternal resting sites. The following gallery of images reminds us that – with each passing season – it continues to expand and its history is further enriched by the inclusion of departed neighbors, friends, and family members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rockville Cemetery provides grave sites and columbarium niches intended for the interment of anyone, regardless of race, religious denomination, creed, cultural heritage, age, or sexual identification.

No. Currently, Rockville Cemetery contains sites and niches provided for the interment of the remains or cremation ashes of humans only.

There are no office or visitor facilities located in Rockville Cemetery.  To schedule a site sales visit or other meeting, contact Rockville Cemetery Association through our website (www.rockvillecemeterymd.org) or leave a message on our voice mailbox (301-309-0191) and a representative will contact you in reply to discuss your need or interest.

While Rockville Cemetery Association provides all administrative functions, it relies almost exclusively on contracted service providers to perform much of the physical labor required to maintain the cemetery property.  These services include, but are not limited to, excavators to open and close interment sites, landscapers to mow and trim the lawn areas, a real estate agent to manage the caretaker’s cottage, and historic preservationists to repair grave monuments.  On occasion, individuals or organized groups may volunteer assistance to support various projects.

RCA has created the position of Community Director to be more responsive to public inquiries, especially concerning interest in purchasing interment sites and need for immediate burial. Please use our Contact Us page to submit your questions. The Community Director will quickly respond on behalf of RCA.

Civic organizations, educational classes, special interest groups, professional associations, etc., may request a tour of the cemetery through our website’s Contact Us page, and we will attempt to provide a qualified and available RCA volunteer to respond to your group’s particular interest. Volunteer-led tours are free of charge to participants; however, a traditional response in appreciation often includes a donation to Rockville Cemetery Association for cemetery preservation efforts.

The oldest headstone in the cemetery, located in the upper area, marks the grave site of John Harding (1683-1752) a Rockville area farmer.  This is currently the cemetery’s oldest known burial site, as well.

All known interments in Rockville Cemetery are routinely added to the popular Findagrave.com online burial registry, or use our website’s convenient link to Locate a Loved One  through this website.  Simply enter the last name of any deceased person and the response will identify if that individual is interred in Rockville Cemetery, including their grave site or columbarium niche location.  In most listings, photos of headstones or markers are also displayed to assist with locating sites.

If you already know, or use the Findagrave.com link to identify, the specific columbarium niche number or grave site section, lot, and site numbers of known burials, use our website’s Rockville Cemetery Map to locate the general burial site area.  (Sections A-O sites are located in the upper cemetery area, and Sections 1 & 2 sites are located in the lower cemetery area.)

Traditional floral tributes are encouraged, and visitors should be prepared to provide a self-supporting plastic container and water, as there is no water service available in the cemetery. Small or loose objects are discouraged as potentially hazardous to mowing equipment and visitors. For complete information, we recommend that site owners and visitors review and fully comply with our Public Use Policies & Guidelines , and specifically Part VI concerning Floral Tributes and Decorations.

The Caretaker’s Cottage, built in 1889 by the Rockville Cemetery Association of Montgomery County, was originally provided as living quarters for the cemetery’s Superintendent and his family, who administered the daily care of the grounds.  Today the house and enclosed yard is rented by the current Rockville Cemetery Association as a private residence for tenants, providing an additional funding source for the care and maintenance of Rockville Cemetery.

Headstones, monuments, and site markers on grave sites are considered the property of the families and individuals who purchased these objects, so they are responsible for locating qualified companies to provide needed repairs, such as the straightening of leaning headstones.  RCA will gladly discuss monument concerns or needs with all interested site owners and families, and perhaps offer alternatives for monument repairs by qualified companies.

Rockville Cemetery grounds are open daily during daylight hours only, and there are no visitor facilities, restrooms, drinking fountains, etc. available on cemetery property.  The upper area (off of Avery Road) contains the oldest graves dating to 1752, while the lower area (off of Baltimore Road) contains newer graves since the 1930s.  Wear sturdy footwear and be cautious of hilly, irregular, or slippery walking conditions and tripping hazards.  Pets must be on leashes at all times, and younger children should be carried or led by the hand for their safety.  As this is a natural area, avoid contact with native wildlife, and be wary of seasonal hazards such as icy or wet conditions, bees’ nests, poison ivy, and changing weather.  Please do not trespass on the caretaker’s house property or fenced area.  At all times, be respectful of interment sites and never sit on or lean against any headstone or monument as all may loosen and fall from contact.  Call 911 immediately to report all emergencies. Please refer to this website or CONTACT US  if you have related questions.

support historic Rockville Cemetery

Learn how you or your group can support historic Rockville Cemetery!

Phone: 301-309-0191

Email: rockvillecemeterymd@gmail.com

Location: 1350 Baltimore Rd, Rockville, MD 20851

Mailing Address: PO Box 4318, Rockville, MD 20849

CEMETERY HOURS: Daily from Dawn to Dusk

NOTE: No office facilities on site.

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