13 April 2016

Detour Methodist Protestant cemetery

I had heard a number of times about the Methodist Protestant church near Detour a few times. Every time the story was the church was mostly gone and hard to find. Having not really explored the western part of the county often I had never gone past the area to know what to expect. Names in Stone lists 50 names meaning the cemetery should be big enough to find, or at least someone should know where to find it.

Driving down MD77 I came to Detour, which is just across Double Pipe Creek at the Frederick/Carroll county line. When I knew I went a bit too far I turned around and turned down Detour Road. Much to my surprise, the church is quite visible from the road.

Remains of the church and part of cemetery
 I stopped at the nearest house to ask who owned the property so that I could get some photos. The woman I talked to told me that no one actually owned the property, and when I later looked I was unable to find a property ID. There was no good place to park the motorcycle and I had to find a flat stone to place under the kickstand to keep the bike upright. After a short walk from the road I was able to see the cemetery and remains of the church. 

The neighbor told me that occasionally they will go and clean up the cemetery and it looks like they occasionally cut down trees. But the area is over grown and many of the stones have fallen over. I was able to find all but 17 stones that Holdcraft listed and in reviewing his work to mine I was only able to find 49 names and not 50.

Behind the church
The cemetery was split in two parts, a few stones near the front of the church and the rest behind. The stones near the front were in better shape then those in the rear, though some were harder to photograph as they were up against the metal fence.

Remains of the church in March 2015
 As you can see, over the years the church has crumbled, though it's far more intact then I was expecting from the stories I had been told. There are now trees in the middle of the church and you can still see where some of the windows belong, but there's no evidence of doorways or walkways.

I will probably try and go back and try and find the remaining stones as I'm sure they are just covered and hopefully can be easily found.


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  2. This chapel was built by George Henry Waesche (Way-she) for his wife Catharine Cassell upon his extensive land holdings which he purchased from Joshua Delaplane. Waesche lived nearby in the Delaplane stone mansion-house overlooking the town of Detour from the hilltop at the fork of MD-550 and Detour Road. George and Catharine Waesche had 9 children, a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, dying in infancy. Hers is supposedly the first grave dug at the Waesche chapel. Waesche's land too consisted of the "miller's village" of Double Pipe Creek and three large mills along the village's namesake waterway. (The village of Double Pipe Creek was renamed Detour upon the arrival of the Western Maryland Railroad and
    It's character-limited signage.) George Henry Waesche left his family in 1849, his youngest son less than a year old, to travel to the region of Sutter's Mill upon the outbreak of the California Gold Rush. He, along with his second eldest son, William Henry, and several nephews decided
    To travel by sea rather than land on a ship belonging to Waesche's half-brother Frederick who was a
    Merchant in the port of Baltimore. After the company boarded
    a riverboat to pass through the Isthmus of Panama George Henry contracted malaria on the river Chagres and was Dead and buried within 24-hours. William Henry Waesche was sent home and did not continue with his relatives. (George Henry Waesche's grave was later exhumed to allow Construction of the Panama Canal) Catharine Cassell Waesche operated her late husband's mills until 1854 when she sold the Waesche holdings to Daniel Saylor and Henry McKinstry. With the youngest of her children she moved within a mile (as the bird flies) of her former home to the previous Key Farm where Francis Scott Key had been born in the home Terra Rubra. A few years after her move a storm "wrecked and Twisted" the house so badly that the widow deemed It uninhabitable and had the entire thing razed. She reconstructed the Terra Rubra which survives today on the original home's fieldstone foundation and reused
    Much of it's salvaged wood-trimmings and decoration (such as the main stair newel post) In her new home. The current
    Terra Rubra was NOT modeled
    After the original Key house but was built in the liking of Ms. Waesche. In the first half of the 1900s two of George Henry's sons later rebought their beloved childhood home at Detour; first Joseph Abraham who never re-inhabited the home but bought it only to satiate his sentiment, and second by Charles Albert from his brother Joseph who lived their only five years or so before his wife and daughter convinced him to return to Baltimore as they missed their city social-lives. Charles Albert Waesche did however greatly enlarge the home before again selling it out of the family. After years of neglect, The home has recently been restored keeping its heritage in mind. The current owner expressed interest in purchasing the chapel lot from its current owner to rebuild the structure and re-point the gravestones but was unsuccessful with any such purchase. George Henry Waesche was my 3-times-Great Grandfather. Myself, as well as members of my family continue to visit the old home and chapel every few seasons.