WAYNESBORO >> Antietam Ramblers on April 18 will take "A Stroll through Green Hill Cemetery" for its monthly ramble, and we're invited to go along.
The group will meet at 9 a.m. in the Parlor House, 724 S. Potomac St., for breakfast and orientation before proceeding to the cemetery.
Reservations must be made no later than April 16 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 762-2006. All attendees must buy breakfast from the restaurant.
Todd Dorsett, vice president of Antietam Historical Association, will lead the tour.
Three criteria will determine which graves the Ramblers visit: the historical significance of the deceased, the artistic merit of a monument and requests from group members.
Green Hill Cemetery Association was incorporated in March 1874 to establish and manage a burying ground that was intended to be a beautiful park. For 45 years, ending with his death in 1934, landscape gardener Ferdinand S. Gilbert managed Green Hill. His efforts at beautification included the name "Green Hill" spelled in privet hedge. He also maintained a topiary zoo along South Potomac between Sixth Street and the cemetery grounds. The word "Waynesboro" spelt in shrubbery across the highway from the cemetery once greeted motorists entering town from the south.
Dorsett said many people wrongly believe Waynesboro's Burns Hill Cemetery is older than Green Hill. "The first interment in Green Hill occurred in 1874, while the first burial on Burns Hill was in 1875," he said. "Burns Hill Cemetery Association was not organized until 1880. St. Andrew's Catholic graveyard is the oldest burying ground in the borough, and Green Hill is second."
Dorsett and AHA photographer Sid Miller are collaborating on a pictorial history of Green Hill, which is to be published by AHA.
The Antietam Ramblers are the field study group of AHA, which focuses on the region in Maryland and Pennsylvania drained by Antietam Creek.
The group's next ramble, "In Old Mont Alto Park," is scheduled for May 9.