Monday, July 19, 2010

Where Is Mt Olive Cemetery?

This is an easily answered question by anyone who has lived their life here in Delmar and are over the age of 50. For those of us who do not fit that group it does pose a problem when doing family tree research and you come across an entry that says "buried in Mt Olive Cemetery Delmar Delaware”. So you ride all over Delmar looking for Mt Olive Cemetery and all you find is two St. Stephen’s Cemeteries.

Well let us look at this. In 1868 the first Methodist Church was built in Delmar. It was on the corner of First and State Street and very unimaginately was called First Methodist Church. Now the name brings up some questions; was the Church called First because it was the First Church in Delmar, or was it called First because it was on First Street, or was the system of street nomenclature in Delmar created because there was a church called First and they decided to name the street after the Church, after that there was no choice but to have a second, third etc street. In the 1870's what is now First street was called Brown Street.

In 1889, Mt. Olive Methodist Protestant Church was organized and in 1899 a church was built on the corner of North Second and State Street. Prior to the church being built there a peach drying plant was on the site. Each church had it own cemetery. Mt. Olive is the one farthest to the East and closest to the highway (RT13)on State Street. First Church had their cemetery on the corner of Ninth Street and State Street. The two churches went their happy ways within a block of one another for the next 65 years.

In 1964 the Methodist Church, Salisbury District, decided to strengthen the ministry of the church on the Delmarva Peninsular by merging some churches. Part of the merger was First and Mt. Olive church. Others were Mills Chapel and Snethen Church, White’s Chapel and St. John Church, and Quantico and Wetipquin Church. Rev. Rollan E. Ferry at First Church and Rev. Harvey Flater at Mt. Olive Church negotiated the merger and both were afterwards transferred to other churches. Rev. Harvey Flater also had Mill Chapel under his charge and after the merger he had the accomplishment of working himself out of two jobs. Rev. Flater had been on the job three years and Rev. Ferry had been on the job two years.

For awhile the newly merged church was simply referred to as the Methodist Church of Delmar. Toward the fall of 1964 they decided to call it St Stephen church under the direction of Rev. Robert P. Whitlock, who came from a four year pastorate at St. John’s Methodist Church in Fruitland. Both Cemeteries were re-named St. Stephen's.

The old Mt Olive Church became a furniture store and currently is home to the Delmar Christian Center. So there you have it Family Tree Searchers; Mt Olive Cemetery is the cemetery closest to RT 13 at 12th Street and State Street (Circa 1901) and First Cemetery is at Ninth Street and State Street (Circa 1885).

No comments:

Post a Comment