History of Patuxent Friends (Quaker) Cemetery
Hughesville, Md.

A patch of Southern Maryland’s history sits quietly alongside the road in Hughesville. Patuxent Friends (Quaker) Cemetery is located just half-a-mile south of the intersection of Highways 231 (Prince Frederick Rd) and Hwy 5 (Three Notch Rd).

The cemetery is up on a hill on the East side of the Three Notch Road.  The Quaker tenet of simplicity is evident as there are no ornate carvings or flowery phrases etched onto the plain, gray markers.

The Patuxent Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends was established in Hughesville on August 17, 1871.  This group of concerned Friends was committed to help improve the education and treatment of the Negro population in Southern Maryland.  Other Quakers moved into the area seeking milder climate and better opportunities for agricultural endeavors.  Baltimore Yearly Meeting aided this group of Friends in purchasing a piece of property and erecting a frame building for a meetinghouse in Hughesville, Maryland, where the cemetery still rests today.

This meeting prospered and, during the years between1890 to 1920, was a vigorous and lively gathering.  With the passing of elders and the departure of a younger generation, the meeting declined to few in number until it was “laid down” on June 14, 1942.

After the closing of the meeting, the meetinghouse rapidly deteriorated until it was beyond repair.  A community resident inquired of a remaining Friend toward the possibility of purchasing the property to build a home.  This proposition was agreed to, and the transaction was completed.  However, the one acre burial ground was retained by Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

In the 1950’s, descendants of the members of this meeting established a trust fund to provide adequate care for the cemetery.  They approached the trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, requesting the transfer of this property to Adelphi Meeting.  (At that time there were members of Adelphi Meeting who had been members of Patuxent Monthly Meeting and were greatly interested in this concern.)  The Trustees were willing and happy to transfer the property and also to include some money received from the sale of the northern parcel.  Adelphi Meeting assumed possession of the property and management of the trust fund to provide adequate and perpetual care for the property. 

In 1980, a newly formed Patuxent Friends Meeting was established as a worship group in Southern Maryland, and it became a Monthly Meeting in 1994.  Members of the meeting residing in the Hughesville area adopted the maintenance of the cemetery as their concern in 1995, to preserve the local Quaker heritage.

In 1999, Patuxent Friends accepted ownership of the cemetery from Adelphi Friends Meeting and it continues to care for the cemetery today.  An article in the Washington Post highlighted work on the cemetery and its new sign, constructed as an Eagle Scout project by Matthew Keck who is a member of Patuxent Friends Meeting. 

In 2001, Patuxent Friends purchased a meetinghouse on H.G. Trueman Road in Lusby, Maryland. Meeting for Worship is held there every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. 

Headstone Inscriptions
Friends Cemetery, Hughesville, MD

The following is a listing of headstone inscriptions based upon the transcription performed by Danny Fluhart dated April 7, 1979, checked and revised 1999 by Timothy Keck. Note: Rather than stating the month/date/year, Quakers customary say the date, the number of the month and the year (7h day 4th month, 1979).

1)      Walter Acton Born Sept. 15, 1896 Died March 14, 1897

2)      Jonathan Akin 11th of 4 mo. 1838
3)      Lydia Akin 27th of 5 mo. 1811 10th of 10 mo. 1876

4)      Robert H. Bloom 1874 - 1927
Sarah Fible Bloom Mar. 27, 1864 July 30, 1947

5)      Egbert Cary 11th of 11 mo. 1828 (illegible) 1870 (this date given as 8th of 3 mo 1873 in Haverford College Library Special Collections)

6       Julia Dubois Born Jan. 13th, 1874 Died July 2nd, 1880

7)      Abigail A. Haviland Born April 2nd, 1836 Died Sept. 15th, 1911
8)      Carrie E. Haviland Born Jan. 26 1867 Died Oct. 1 1951
9)      Daniel P. Haviland 8th of 9 mo. 1809   12th of 8 mo. 1871
10)     Lewise M. Haviland Born July 3, 1882 Died May 21, 1960
11)     Lillias A. Haviland 7th of 1st mo. 1808 30th of 8 mo. 1875

30)     JONES
12)     Arthur Elwood Jones 4th of 12 mo. 1868 5th of 8 mo. 1871
13)     Chloe H. 1857 - 1940
14)     Elisha D. 1856 - 1935
15)     Elwood E. 1880 - 1884
16)     Enoch Jones 7th of 7 mo. 1819 31st of 3 mo. 1886
17)     Lambert J. Jones 17th of 9 mo. 1859 29th of 6 mo. 1882
18)     Marian G. 1919 - 1919

19)     Agnes W. Neave Born May 18th, 1879 Died April 10th, 1912
20)     Lillias Akin, wife of Samuel R. Neave 1847 - 1935
21)     Samuel R. Neave Fordingbridge, Eng 1842 Hughesville, MD 1929

22)     Alfred E. Wetherald Oct. 15, 1896 Sept. 16, 1968
23)     Betty Lee Wetherald May 30, 1922 Oct. 24, 1971
24)     Elizabeth Wetherald 7th of 8th mo. 1831 31st. of 1st mo. 1911
25)     John Edward Wetherald 1857 - 1928, a faithful friend
26)     Lillias Gertrude, wife of J. Edward Wetherald 1861 - 1950
27)     Richard Wetherald 21st of 3 mo. 1856 12th of 11 mo. 1918
28)     Thomas Wetherald born England, 9th of 7th mo. 1822 died Maryland 12th of 7th mo. 1918
29)     Thomas E. Wetherald 1889 - 1937

The last burial took place in 1971. There is a brownstone block, approximately 12x8x4 inches, at the base of the oak tree at location 31 of the map.  It has the single legible inscription ‘VAIL’ on it.  Its origin and purpose are unknown at this time.

Map of Headstone Locations: Friends Cemetery, Hughesville, MD

Scout's Project Serves as Monument to Quaker Past

By Hannah Allam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 25, 1999; Page M03

Countless drivers zip by Southern Maryland's only known Quaker cemetery every day in a cacophony of bass music, blaring horns and squealing sirens. Until last week, they probably never would have known that just about a hundred yards from the noisy Route 5 strip in Hughesville sits a quiet patch of the region's history.

The tract covers 31 graves that have gone largely unnoticed since 1871. On Monday evening, several members of the Patuxent Friends Monthly Meeting gathered in an informal ceremony to erect a sign that proclaims the cemetery's existence. The new marker was a project taken on by Matthew Keck, 16, to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts' highest honor.

"I wanted to help the meeting, and this has definitely been a learning experience," said Keck, a regular at the Patuxent meetings in Lusby. "Scoutswise, I've never done anything like this before."

Keck's grandmother, also a Quaker, stumbled across records of the cemetery three years ago while researching Maryland Quakers in materials at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. One handwritten legal document from 1893 describes one boundary marker on the site as "a large stone on the aforesaid public road, not far from said Hughesville."

Even more than a century later, this description is fairly accurate. As cemeteries go, this one is humble. The Quaker tenet of simplicity is evident in this parcel of land, just less than an acre, off Luke's Lane in Hughesville.

The elements have been unkind to the now mostly illegible headstones. There are no ornate carvings or flowery phrases etched onto the plain, gray markers. But for Southern Maryland's Quakers -- about 30 families remain here -- the sign that now marks the cemetery is monument enough to the work of a peaceful people to whom they are related through faith and values.

"When you get up to the grave area, it's kind of peaceful," said Cynthia Gonzalez, 30, a member of Patuxent Friends Monthly Meeting. "It's not so important who was there, just that there were people here before. Most people don't even know there are Quakers in Southern Maryland."

Quakers arrived in Calvert County as early as 1671, said Pat O'Donnell at the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College. They converted some Puritan settlers but never established a large, continuous population. These early meetings eventually died out and the people who started the cemetery came along much later, possibly to help newly emancipated blacks participate in society, O'Donnell said.

The Friends library has a record of a Charles County monthly meeting established in 1871 and held at the home of Daniel P. Haviland. He and four other Havilands are buried in the Hughesville cemetery.

The new sign "lets people know that there are not only Quakers here now, but there were Quakers here then," said Diane Kesler, 56, of the Patuxent Meeting. "This, to me, is kind of connecting the past to the present."

The Patuxent Meeting does not own the cemetery. It belongs to a meeting in Adelphi, but members there can't make the drive often enough to maintain the land. When Keck decided to adopt the cemetery as a Scout project, the Lusby meeting supported him through cash donations and labor. Months of mowing, filling in sunken graves and arranging the construction of the sign ended Monday with the placing of the white placard with black lettering. For Keck, it was a step toward his Eagle Scout badge. For the modern-day Quakers in the area, the sign is a celebration of their predecessors.

"Quakers have a saying, 'As way opens,' " Kesler said. "It means that things have a way of working out. For us, the way opened."

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company