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Rogers-Buchanan Burial Ground in Druid Hill Park

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Rogers-Buchanan Burial Ground lies within the boundaries of Druid Hill Park across the street from the zoo’s Reptile House. This small north Baltimore cemetery was created in the 1700s as a typical family estate burying ground.

The estate was acquired by Lord Baltimore in the late 1600s and being prized for its lumber, was sold many times to industrial colonialists. Nicholas Rogers came to own 200 acres of the forest-covered land. When Rogers died in 1709 he left the estate to his daughter Eleanor.

Eleanor married George Buchanan, one of the seven commissioners responsible for establishing Baltimore City, and bore him ten children. When George Buchanan died in 1750, his son Lloyd took over the land, adding surrounding properties and enlarging the estate to 625 acres.

When Lloyd Buchanan passed, Eleanor, his four year old daughter, inherited the property. Eleanor Buchanan married Colonel Nicholas Rogers IV, her first cousin once removed, in 1783.

The Colonel, a Revolutionary War veteran, had an interest in architecture and worked on city projects with builder/architect Robert Cary Long. Rogers designed the the Assembly Room which stood adjacent to the old courthouse. The building burned down in 1873 in the Holliday Street Theatre fire.

Through the years the Rogers family modified the estate, adding rolling pathways and adventurous landscaping. Colonel Rogers IV made great improvements to the property by adding bays and indentations to the untamed forest.

In a unique move for the time, the Colonel’s will provided that his slaves be freed and given monthly salaries upon his passing. Rogers IV died in 1822, outliving his wife by ten years. Their son Lloyd Nicholas Rogers inherited Druid Hill.

Rumored to be a recluse, Lloyd apparently cut off ties with friends, city officials and former family business partners. When Mayor Thomas Swann and City Council wanted to build a turnpike through the Rogers-Buchanan estate, Lloyd refused. A bitter and lengthy battle ensued. Lloyd Nicholas Rogers died in 1860, a month and a half after he unwillingly sold the family property.

The half-acre graveyard was left in the possession of the Rogers family when the sale of the park was finalized. The burial ground’s last interment was Edmund Law Rogers in 1896.

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Written by monumentcity

December 6th, 2010 at 4:30 pm