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The African American Cemetery at Catoctin Furnace: Bridging the Past and the Future

Author(s): Jane I. Seiter

Year: 2016

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The Catoctin African American Cemetery is the resting place of at least 50 individuals who labored at Catoctin Furnace and its surrounding community from the 1770s to the 1840s. Many of these men and women were enslaved workers, while others were possibly part of the free black population that also lived and worked at the furnace. In 2014, an ambitious project to preserve, protect, and interpret the cemetery was launched. Documentary research, forensic analysis, and geophysical investigations using ground-penetrating radar have begun to shed light on the lives of the workers and their burial practices. Public outreach efforts include new museum exhibits, a heritage trail linking the cemetery with the furnace ruins, and living history presentations given by local high school students. The end goal of the project is to raise public awareness of this important historical resource and to connect future generations with the legacy of the past.  

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Cite this Record

The African American Cemetery at Catoctin Furnace: Bridging the Past and the Future. Jane I. Seiter. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434487)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 680

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America