homepage logo

Testimony of Rocks gives different history of Shepherdstown

By Staff | Aug 24, 2012

Shepherdstown historian Jim Price will take a look at Shepherdstown’s 250 years of history with his “Testimony of the Rocks” lecture Saturday evening at Elmwood Cemetery.

According to Peter Smith, member of the Shepherdstown 250 committee, Price has been giving his testimonial tour of Elmwood Cemetery for several years. Each summer Price tells the stories of the many people who’ve been laid to rest in Elmwood, combining personal anecdotes and town history.

“He weaves them into a narrative,” Smith said.

Smith explained that this year’s event will feature a slightly different approach. Instead of touring the cemetery, Price will focus on the stories of notable local history makers, all laid to rest in the oldest portion of the cemetery.

Price will discuss Shepherdstown’s earliest origins while sitting among a section of graves, that actually predates Elmwood Cemetery itself.

Doug Perks, director of the Charles Town library, local historian and member of the Jefferson County Historical Society, helped plan Saturday’s event.

“Folks can bring a chair and they can sit and hear all of Dr. Price’s presentation,” he said.

This year’s talk will feature about a dozen people, many of whom have a connection to important historical events.

The lecture will include Nancy Mark Baker, Henry Berry, James Glenn, Henry Hagan, Dr. John Quigley, Van Rutherford and Joseph McMurran, the first president of Shepherd College, among others.

According to Perks, the event is held each year as both an opportunity to learn local history and as a way to help preserve the local cemetery.

“What he (Jim Price) has done… They’ve all been to benefit tombstone restoration,” Perks said.

A $10 donation is being asked for entry into Saturday’s event. Event proceeds will go to the Elmwood Cemetery Association for repairs and maintenance.

“You can see this is a rather old cemetery,” he said. The Elmwood Cemetery board will sell a book called “Elmwood Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions” that features a listing of everyone buried on the grounds. Proceeds from the book will go toward preservation of the cemetery as well. The event starts at 6 p.m. Parking will be directed.