GEORGETOWN’S HISTORIC AFRICAN 

AMERICAN CEMETERIES

MOUNT ZION -

FEMALE UNION BAND SOCIETY

HISTORIC MEMORIAL PARK, INC.

a vision for our future 

We have an unprecedented opportunity to rediscover nearly two centuries of lost African American history in Georgetown and to develop a historic memorial park as a sacred space for quiet reflection and respectful commemoration of the past.

A place to promote unity, appreciation, and most of all to EDUCATE: to remember and preserve the heritage, contributions, and sacrifices these founders of Georgetown made during their lifetimes; and provide insight to their families and the community in which they lived during a time of deep segregation. 

Celebrate Black History Month! 

The Historic Park, Inc., Foundation is committed to educating the public about the lives of our interred, and the contributions they made to Georgetown and Washington communities during a period of deep racial segregation. In furtherance of that goal, we encourage you to participate in these worthwhile events.

Event Completed - "Headstones & History" Black Lives Matter(ed) Presentation

The Montgomery County Genealogical Society is hosting a Black History Month program featuring Lisa Fager, Executive Director, Mount Zion-Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park, Inc. Foundation

Dr. Garett Lowe and Tom Dunkenfield III of Eagle Eye Tutoring to share the histories of Mt Zion - FUBS and findings from their 2020 Summer study 4-week pilot program that provided a unique opportunity for high school and college students to conduct original historical research to uncover and memorialize some of the hidden histories of Georgetown's African Americans.

 

Thank you to all who attended. A link to the recording of this event will be provided when it becomes available.

Event Completed 

Explore Georgetown’s Black history and learn how to preserve your own family photographs and documents, 

If you did not get the chance to attend the session you can see the recording here. For more information on preserving your family papers and photographs, please see this handout from the program.

The next program in the series, Black Georgetown Community History Project: Family Heirlooms will be on March 19 at 1 p.m

Curators, collections managers, and other experts from Dumbarton House, Georgetown University, and Tudor Place Historic House & Garden will share tips and techniques while they explore the family collection of Neville Waters, a sixth-generation Georgetown resident and the current president of Mt. Zion – Female Union Band Society Historic Memorial Park, Inc.

This free, virtual community program is organized by Dumbarton House, Georgetown Heritage, Mt. Zion – Female Union Band Society Historic Memorial Park, Inc. and Tudor Place Historic House & Garden.

Church Members, Friends and Foundation Board Members Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Dedicate the Cemeteries' National Register of Historic Places Designation Plaque

Lisa Fager shares agenda and dedication
Vernon Ricks shares scripture
Neville Waters shares stories of grandfa
Patrick Reading His Story II
Deborah Bond sings Lift every voice and
Nana Malaya Rucker Libation Ceremony
Nana Malaya Rucker leads a procession du
Attendees at Plaque dedication
Plaque reveal and dedication
Deborah Bond Sings at Plaque reveal
Nana Malaya Rucker at Plaque Dedication.
Deborah Bond and Nana Malaya Rucker
Tisdale Fager Ricks Seiver Waters Plaque
National Register of Historic Places Designation Plaque Dedication Foundation Board

Click Images Above to Pause or Enlarge

We gathered on the plateau to reflect, honor and celebrate the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King and those interred in our cemeteries. Lisa Fager, Foundation Executive Director shared the ceremony program and context of the cemeteries' designation in the National Register of Historic Places. Vernon Ricks, Chairperson, Mount Zion United Methodist Church Trustee and Foundation Board member, shared scripture.  "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was performed by acclaimed artist Deborah Bond. Neville Waters, Foundation Board President, shared perspectives of the history of the cemeteries, and the role of his grandfather and father in the black Georgetown community.  Patrick Tisdale, Volunteer Activity Coordinator presented a story written to honor the day.  Nana Malaya Rucker led the assembled in a spirited Libation ceremony and procession. Finally, the community and program participants unveiled and dedicated the National Register of Historic Places designation plaque.    Images by James Newton Photography

The placement of the plaque in the entrance area of the Female Union Band Society Cemetery:

  • Informs visitors that the “park-like” and wooded grounds before them are in fact a sacred historic burial ground for thousands of individuals

  • Provides visitors information about the history of the cemeteries, the lives, and contributions made by the interred to the establishment of Georgetown and to the transition of the United States to a post-slavery era

  • The NRHP Sign supports the Mount Zion - Female Union Band Memorial Park, Inc. Foundation goal of the burial grounds being a living historic memorial

Please Consider Our Cemeteries in Your Gift Giving Plans

Your generosity will help preserve our sacred burial grounds and support our education programs.  You can assist us by enrolling in the Amazon Smile program, or by funding one or more of the volunteer-led initiatives described below.  THANK YOU for your support!

Amazon Smile.png

A Gift of Landscaping Materials

Your donation of $25, $50, $75, or $100 will fund much-needed landscaping materials such as gravel, topsoil, mulch, and grass seed. Your support enables our volunteers to keep our grounds safe for visitors, address erosion caused by stormwater and ground subsidence, and stabilize monuments. 

A Gift of Gravestone Restoration

Your donation of $75 will fund restorative cleaning, mending, and remounting of a historic gravestone, such as Matilda Cartwright’s, the daughter of freed slave, Lewis Cartwright (both interred in the Female Union Band Society Cemetery)

A Gift of Tree Canopy and Grounds Preservation

Your donation of $35 will fund the purchase of a cubic yard of organically enriched topsoil, to be used in our DC Government Restoration Branch/Watershed Protection Division, Department of Energy & Environment supported Spring planting of tree seedlings. This community event will mitigate burial ground erosion, create valuable wildlife habitat, and maintain the pleasant look of the cemetery grounds.

A Gift of Restorative Headstone Cleaning

Your donation of $25 will fund the cleaning of two historic gravestones or monument artifacts. Your support provides volunteers with the tools and materials needed to restoratively clean headstones.

For Information on the other ways you can financially support the preservation and restoration of the burial grounds, and our awareness and education programs, please read our "Support Us" resource.

HELP US SAVE GEORGETOWN'S

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CEMETERIES

PRESERVE
RESTORE
EDUCATE
PROTECT
Nana Malaya Rucker Libation Ceremony