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NEWS
March 30, 1997
THE REGULARITY of Carolyn T. Jacobi's complaints about Mount Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore's Westport neighborhood have become almost as certain as death. For years she has lamented its weeds and overgrowth, broken tombstones, and protruding bones. In 1993, $26,000 was raised to make improvements at Mount Auburn, but two years later it was again in bad shape. Volunteers cleaned it up then. It proved a temporary fix.Mount Auburn is not the only neglected cemetery in Maryland. Its story exemplifies others where the church that operates the graveyard can no longer afford the expense, or where population shifts have left fewer people who really care about the cemetery.
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NEWS
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | May 26, 2013
Dressed in the traditional garb of a Civil War Union soldier, Vince Vaise led the two dozen marchers through Mount Auburn, Baltimore's oldest African-American cemetery. Sword drawn, and a stoic look upon his face, Vaise and his followers snaked through the overgrown grass Sunday before stopping at a small white gravestone, which he later explained belonged to Peter Purviance, the city's first freed slave to join the Union army. On this eve of Memorial Day, Vaise and the small group spent the afternoon honoring African-American veterans from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
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NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | April 10, 1997
Amid mounting complaints about broken tombstones, sunken graves and protruding bones, Baltimore officials put a temporary halt yesterday on burials at a historic black cemetery.Mount Auburn Cemetery, a long-neglected graveyard that was once the only one for Baltimore African-Americans, also was ordered to come up with a management plan by May 3.Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, which operates the cemetery, agreed to improve the upkeep after the city health commissioner picked his way through overgrown weeds to inspect bones and a skull sticking out of dug-up earth.
NEWS
By NICOLE FULLER and NICOLE FULLER,SUN REPORTER | October 27, 2005
The headstone is inscribed with just one word: Gans. It's a bit of a head-scratcher to some, how a boxing great and native son of Baltimore, Joseph Gans, known in the ring as the "Old Master," ended up with such a brief send-off. He was, after all, Baltimore's first worldwide boxing champion and the first native-born black American to win a worldwide title. His nearly 6,000-pound granite marker once stood with an air of prestige among the many cracked and overturned gravestones at Mount Auburn Cemetery, believed to be the city's oldest cemetery for African-Americans.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith and Jamie Smith,SUN STAFF | August 1, 1997
Calling the situation at Mount Auburn Cemetery "distasteful," a funeral director has organized an all-day event to raise money for the beleaguered burial ground and to teach volunteers how to get it in shape."
NEWS
By Norris P. West and Norris P. West,Staff Writer | November 20, 1993
A path cuts through high weeds and tall grass at Mount Auburn Cemetery and leads to headstones simply marked "WEEKS" and "Hattie Jane Pettaway."The two stones lie in the center of a square patch of freshly mowed grass in an oasis that contrasts sharply with the bushy trappings of nearby gravesites, identified by the names Tucker, Queens, Peters, Dorsey and Jones.Headstones for Tucker, Queens and the others are covered by the tall grass and weeds that have overrun Mount Auburn, the city's oldest black cemetery, which has been victimized over the years by neglect, vandalism, mismanagement and illegal dumping.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 2, 2001
Her college career all of four days old, Soumi Saha boarded a yellow bus yesterday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus in Catonsville and stepped off on a forlorn Baltimore block facing 33 acres of weeds. Her orders: Pick them. By hand. The Edison, N.J., native jumped to the task. "We had to do something," she said. "It was crazy." Saha, 18, and about 80 other UMBC students, community workers and neighborhood youngsters spent yesterday morning clearing vegetation, righting toppled headstones and soaking in the secrets of Mount Auburn Cemetery, the historic African-American burial ground in the southern part of the city.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | April 16, 1997
JOE GANS' grave is about the fifth on the left as you enter Mount Auburn Cemetery, the huge headstone that reads simply "Gans" a fitting tribute to a Baltimorean with a truly huge legacy.Gans shucked oysters along Baltimore's docks in the later years of the 19th century. After hooking up with a restaurant owner named Al Hereford, Gans took to boxing, becoming the first black American - and probably the first Baltimorean - to win a world boxing championship.Mount Auburn is also the final resting place of Lillie Carroll Jackson, civil rights activist, the first black woman to practice law in Maryland and the matriarch of the Mitchell family that includes two city councilmen, two state legislators and at least -- one talk-show host.
NEWS
August 18, 1995
It is not enough for the pastor of Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church to decry the cost of cleaning up neglected Mount Auburn Cemetery. It is not enough to have an occasional clean-up day so volunteers can mow grass, pull weeds, pick up (( trash and chase away rats.Sharp Street is responsible for the cemetery and Sharp Street should provide for the cemetery's perpetual care. But other churches and institutions should want to be involved. Mount Auburn is the first black cemetery founded in Maryland and an important part of state history.
NEWS
By Cheryl L. Tan and Cheryl L. Tan,SUN STAFF | March 26, 1997
The scene was right out of a B-grade horror movie: an old cemetery choked with overgrown weeds and dead shrubs, mounds of recently dug-up earth with a human bone sticking out and a rusted casket protruding. But this wasn't the big screen.The human bone and protruding casket were on the startling list of objects Carolyn T. Jacobi, a cemetery regulations advocate and self-appointed watchdog, found while walking around Mount Auburn Cemetery in Westport yesterday.Jacobi, who has been monitoring Mount Auburn for two years, also found a mud-encased cloth that she believes is a shroud.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | December 27, 2004
For more than 20 years, Warren Wiggins has pushed a lawn mower over his mother's grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery, carefully tending that patch of ground while all around the grass grew knee-deep and headstones stood crooked and broken. Over the years, others decried the deplorable condition of Mount Auburn, believed to be the oldest African-American cemetery in Baltimore and the resting place of many renowned blacks. But with the exception of some regular volunteer cleanups, nothing much has improved.
NEWS
By FROM STAFF REPORTS | December 2, 2004
In Baltimore City Off-duty officer wounded by shot in Waverly area An off-duty veteran Baltimore police officer was shot in an elbow yesterday evening near a busy Waverly shopping strip - wounded by a bullet apparently meant for someone else, police said. Officer James R. Ryan, 54, a member of the force for 24 years and assigned to the 311 nonemergency telephone section, was stepping from his car in the 400 block of E. 32nd St. near Greenmount Ave. about 5:45 p.m. when he was wounded.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 2, 2001
Her college career all of four days old, Soumi Saha boarded a yellow bus yesterday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus in Catonsville and stepped off on a forlorn Baltimore block facing 33 acres of weeds. Her orders: Pick them. By hand. The Edison, N.J., native jumped to the task. "We had to do something," she said. "It was crazy." Saha, 18, and about 80 other UMBC students, community workers and neighborhood youngsters spent yesterday morning clearing vegetation, righting toppled headstones and soaking in the secrets of Mount Auburn Cemetery, the historic African-American burial ground in the southern part of the city.
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | February 9, 2000
The bodies resting under tall weeds and mounds of snow in Baltimore's oldest African-American cemetery are the former slaves, ministers, athletes and entrepreneurs who laid the foundation for the city's black community. But you wouldn't know from the look of it. The headstone of light heavyweight boxing champ Joseph Gans is prominent and well-kept at Mount Auburn Cemetery. But nearby stones of lesser-knowns are chipped and crooked. News reports from the past three decades have documented horrific conditions at what was once called "The City of the Dead for Colored People," including caskets and human remains periodically emerging from the earth.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith and Jamie Smith,SUN STAFF | August 1, 1997
Calling the situation at Mount Auburn Cemetery "distasteful," a funeral director has organized an all-day event to raise money for the beleaguered burial ground and to teach volunteers how to get it in shape."
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | April 16, 1997
JOE GANS' grave is about the fifth on the left as you enter Mount Auburn Cemetery, the huge headstone that reads simply "Gans" a fitting tribute to a Baltimorean with a truly huge legacy.Gans shucked oysters along Baltimore's docks in the later years of the 19th century. After hooking up with a restaurant owner named Al Hereford, Gans took to boxing, becoming the first black American - and probably the first Baltimorean - to win a world boxing championship.Mount Auburn is also the final resting place of Lillie Carroll Jackson, civil rights activist, the first black woman to practice law in Maryland and the matriarch of the Mitchell family that includes two city councilmen, two state legislators and at least -- one talk-show host.
FEATURES
By Sara Engram and Sara Engram,Universal Press Syndicate | March 30, 1992
The following column appeared originally in September 1988.Cemeteries tell stories. But in a loud and bustling world their soft voices are usually drowned out unless people take special care to listen.In my city, and perhaps in yours, there is a cemetery that for a century and a half has used the fact of death to preach quiet lessons to the living. Dedicated in 1839, Green Mount Cemetery brought to the growing port city of Baltimore a bold new concept in burial grounds -- the notion of a permanent resting place decorated with uplifting art and set in spacious, wooded surroundings.
NEWS
By Richard O'Mara and Richard O'Mara,Sun Staff Writer | July 21, 1995
The late, great Joe Gans -- Baltimore's first world boxing champion -- would turn over in his grave if he could see what's happened to the neighborhood.Mount Auburn Cemetery, Maryland's first black cemetery founded in 1872, where the turn-of-century lightweight is buried, is a wild mess and has been for a long time.Sprawling over 33 hilly acres in Westport, it is a field of leaning monuments, tilted and turned-over tombstones. Weeds engulf grieving angels and obelisks; old graves are sinking away.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | April 10, 1997
Amid mounting complaints about broken tombstones, sunken graves and protruding bones, Baltimore officials put a temporary halt yesterday on burials at a historic black cemetery.Mount Auburn Cemetery, a long-neglected graveyard that was once the only one for Baltimore African-Americans, also was ordered to come up with a management plan by May 3.Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, which operates the cemetery, agreed to improve the upkeep after the city health commissioner picked his way through overgrown weeds to inspect bones and a skull sticking out of dug-up earth.
NEWS
March 30, 1997
THE REGULARITY of Carolyn T. Jacobi's complaints about Mount Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore's Westport neighborhood have become almost as certain as death. For years she has lamented its weeds and overgrowth, broken tombstones, and protruding bones. In 1993, $26,000 was raised to make improvements at Mount Auburn, but two years later it was again in bad shape. Volunteers cleaned it up then. It proved a temporary fix.Mount Auburn is not the only neglected cemetery in Maryland. Its story exemplifies others where the church that operates the graveyard can no longer afford the expense, or where population shifts have left fewer people who really care about the cemetery.
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