The Ruins of St. John’s

The ruins of St. Johns along the Miles River. Photo taken from Unionville Road.

Drivers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland who take the Unionville Road bridge over the Miles River are treated to a view of Gothic church ruins. These are what is left of St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church, which was finished in 1839. The money for the church was donated by Miles River Neck landowners who wanted a parish closer than the one in nearby St. Michaels, Md. It was one of the first Gothic Revival churches on the Eastern Shore.

The walls are made of granite. The church was deemed structurally unsound in 1900 and it continues to crumble. A photo of the ruins in “Where Land and Water Intertwine” (1984) shows a turret at the front of the church, but it has since fallen away.

Overhead view of St. Johns, courtesy of Google Maps

These ruins are not to be confused with Dundee Chapel, a circa 1720 church built further inland in Tunis Mills near what is now the intersection of Unionville Road and Todd’s Corner.

Information for this post came from “Where Land and Water Intertwine, An Archictectural History of Talbot County, Maryland” by Christopher Weeks (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), pages 105-106.

Tombstone Tuesday: Hole-in-the-Wall Cemetery

On the way to southern points on the Eastern Shore, I always pass this tumbling-down church and graveyard on Route 50 near Trappe, Md. I finally pulled off the road to explore it this past Saturday. The sign on the corner reads “White Marsh Cemetery,” but Google Maps has it listed as “Hole-in-the-Wall Cemetery.” Funnily enough, the name does not come from the appearance of the existing building.

The building is the remains of a church dating back to the 1600s. Interesting stories about the church can be found on the Haunted Eastern Shore Facebook page. Many of the graves have stones with dates in the 1700s including a vault in the floor of the church holding the remains of a parish rector and his wife.

The cemetery is still in use by another church and there are many recent graves there. Below are photos of some of the older graves, many of which are succumbing to nature in varying degrees: