About 1997 I 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.
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.