Dorchester County: two lost churches

About 1997 CrapoChurch_jpegI took photos of two churches in Dorchester County, Maryland.  The two churches are now gone.  The first is of the former Ebenezer AME Church on Asquith Island Road at Crapo.  I did not see a cemetery, but the property was already becoming overgrown.  An 1886 Certificate of Incorporation was located for the “Trustees of Ebenezer African American Church of Woodlandtown,” using the early name for Crapo.  A few years ago I drove past the spot and I saw no evidence of a church and the spot was consumed by a thick growth of trees.  When photographed, the church was already abandoned and deteriorating fast.  But  the photo remains one of my favorites.

Gum Swamp Church 1997_jpeg

Around that time, I took this photo of the Gum Swamp church, or Mount Zion M.E. Church.  The cornerstone indicated it was built in 1889.  It was not used as a church then and was deteriorating.  But, as the name indicates, the church rested on top of a swamp and at the time of this photograph, the ground was saturated with water.  I visited this church a few years later and it was a sad sight, with the roof caved in and the outer walls bulging out, just days from slipping into that swamp.  I understand it was torn down.  Today what remains is a cemetery set back from the road, behind the site of the church.  I admit to knowing next to nothing about this church.  I wondered what sort of community existed for the people to attend this church on Sundays.

–Linda Duyer

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