Old Presbyterian Graveyard Purchased
In January 2019, Edge Hill Cemetery purchased the Old Presbyterian Graveyard at the corner of Congress Street and Augustine Avenue in Charles Town from the Charles Town Presbyterian Church. Edge Hill Cemetery plans to install an interpretive sign on the site along with a monument documenting the burials on site.
Below is a brief history of the Old Charles Town Presbyterian Church.
On February 17, 1787, Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town, executed a deed granting a lot to the Board of Trustees of the Charles Town Presbyterian Church. Washington was paid 20 pounds “current money of Virginia” for the lot which was in the southwestern portion Charles Town near Evitts Run. The first building (photo below) was a small stone one erected in 1787. It was replaced by a larger stone one (photo below) dedicated on April 4, 1830. On November 6, 1851, the last sermon was delivered at the old stone Church on West Street. On November 13, 1851, the new sanctuary was dedicated on Washington Street. With the construction of the new sanctuary completed, the old stone church building was declared surplus by the Board of Trustees and sold to Mr. Wells J. Hawks. Mr. Hawks moved the old building to 104 East Liberty Street, where it became part of his carriage factory. Today the exposed stonework can be seen as part of another structure, while walking eastward along Liberty Street toward Samuel Street.
The building was surrounded by the graves of at least sixty people. The tombstones were all removed, and the burial ground bulldozed in 1958.
1) 1851-1951, One Hundredth Anniversary, Presbyterian Church, Charles Town, WVa. Rev. C. Lloyd Arehart, Pastor.
2) A History of the Charles Town Presbyterian Church, by Michael D. Thompson, Charles Town Presbyterian Church, Miller Printing Company, 1987.
3) Tombstone Inscriptions, Jefferson County, WVa, 1687-1980, 1981 by Bee Line Chapter, NSDAR, Charles Town, WV 25414, pages 303-304.