About the Cemetery

The historic Reisterstown Community Cemetery is located just off of Main Street on Cockeys Mill Road, next to the Reisterstown Library.  It is supported solely through donations and volunteer work.

Walking though this little cemetery is like walking though history.  Many of the names found here are now the names of familiar roads and towns.  It is the final resting place of veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War (both Union and Confederate), the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.

In all, there are over 500 grave stones in the cemetery, and over 800 documented burials.

Download a copy of the cemetery's brochure here

Historical Timeline

29 November 1764:
John Reister received a land patent for "three fourths of an acre more or less to be held of the Manor of Baltimore by the name of Church Hill".  It was his intention was to open a cemetery available to all town residents, thus avoiding the burial tax charged by the Church of England.

The earliest marked grave in the cemetery is that of John Reister's infant grandson, Jacob Reister.

7 March 1775:
John Reister deeded Church Hill to designated trustees who "besaught leave to erect and build a church or meeting house".  The original log-house building was built by the Lutherans, but was open to all denominations.  To this day, the board of trustees continues to elect its own successors.

8 April 1822:
The trustees, "finding from experience great inconvenience from the want of some general rule whereby to be governed", draft and officially adopt a set of by-laws.

Reisterstown residents raise the money to build a brick school next to the cemetery, called Franklin Academy.  It was the first high school in Baltimore County.  Today, the original building still exists, now the Reisterstown Public Library.

23 May 1831:
The by-laws are amended to set the price of burial at $1 for children under the age of 10, and $2 for those over the age of 10.

13 March 1852:
The trustees begin raising funds to build a brick wall around the cemetery, which was completed in 1854.

6 July 1863:
An entry in the cemetery trustees' book of minutes noted, "By reason of the invasion of this state by the Confederate Army and the recent battle at Gettysburg Pa. having created immense excitement among us, the regular quarterly meeting for this evening was postponed."

June 1895:
A map of existing cemetery plots and walkways is drawn.  Several areas are simply described as "Old Graves".

During World War II, the original cemetery gates were melted down and donated to the war effort.

In honor of George Washington's 250th birthday, the Soldiers Delight DAR Chapter planted an ornamental cherry tree in the center of the cemetery.

July 1990:
The Lt. Peter G. Zouck Post 521 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars donated and dedicated a 30-foot flagpole in honor of the cemetery's many veterans.

3 November 1991:
A memorial bench dedicated to town founder John Reister and his wife Margaret is placed in the cemetery, made possible by a grant from the Baltimore County Historical Trust and a donation from the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce.

27 January 1994:
By vote of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission, and with the approval of the County Council, the cemetery is officially added to the Final Landmarks List.

18 April 2006:
The most recent burial is that of Hazel Virginia Gies, who passed away on April 13, 2006.

26 July 2014:
New gates, modeled on sketches of the original ones, are installed at both entrances, just in time for the cemetery's 250th anniversary.

Maryland Archives
Minutes of the Cemetery Trustees

Last updated on 20 December 2014