Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration
of the Zion Episcopal Churchyard Gate
Among the most historic burial places in the Mid-atlantic region, the Zion Episcopal churchyard in Charles Town, WV indicates the great local influence of the George Washington family. There are twenty Washingtons buried there who were born at Mount Vernon according to the inscriptions on their grave markers. Approximately seventy members of that family have graves in this churchyard. Notably among them is Colonel John A.Washington, the last owner of Mount Vernon and Lucy Todd Washington, sister of Dolly Madison, who was married to George Steptoe Washington.
Also buried here is John Yates Beall who was charged, convicted, and hanged as a Confederate spy in New York. Two bishops; Bishop Beverly Dandridge Tucker and Bishop William L. Gravatt, who was the second Bishop of West Virginia are also buried here. An original poem by Francis Scott Key is inscribed on the stone marking the grave of his friend, Mary Ann Morsel. There are many other graves of persons who were prominent in local and national history. In addition, there are graves of approximately eighty-five to ninety Confederate soldiers as well as two Revolutionary War officers.
The historic iron fence along the E. Congress side of the churchyard dates to 1851 when the previous church building was replaced after a catastrophic fire. The original entrance gateway proved to be too narrow for the increasingly large vehicles of the 20th C., and it sustained many damages before it was repaired and reconstructed in a wider configuration.