Historic Pollock Cemetery (176.2)

The towpath is great, but sometimes it's nice to take a side trip

The towpath is great, but sometimes it’s nice to take a side trip

Today, we we decided to take the back roads into Martinsburg from Cumberland, Md., and stopped off at the North Branch parking area for a quick walk up to Lockhouse 75.  Afterward, we hopped in the Jeep and followed the road behind the lockhouse to the Historic Pollock Cemetery.  For those hiking the C&O in the Mexico Farms area, the cemetery is a short hop from the towpath near mile 176.2.

Information about the Pollocks and the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization

Information about the Pollocks and the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization

The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization adopted this site in 2001, and they did a wonderful job with it.  I never thought of myself as much of a cemetery buff, but since starting this website, this is the fifth post pertaining to cemeteries.  History is definitely where you find it, and I have to say that I learned plenty about the Pollock family and local Civil War lore.

Taking it all in

Taking it all in

For starters, James D. Pollock (1841-1916) was a soldier in the Confederate army who was captured during the Battle of Gettysburg.  In 1865 he was released during a prisoner exchange and would later (at the age of 55)  marry Natalie Morris and father two sons and four daughters.  Thanks to the CHCO, a new interpretive stone was placed at his gravesite, and any passerby is welcomed to learn about James’s long and interesting life.

Grave site and interesting history of James D Pollock

Grave site and interesting history of James D Pollock

Interestingly, James’s sister Sallie was a Confederate spy, and she was also honored with a historic stone.  Sallie’s “information monument” was added to the cemetery in 2004, and it completes the family’s contribution to American history during the Civil War.  In all, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization did a great job with the Historic Pollock Cemetery.  For anybody wanting to know more about the Pollocks or this organization, there is an interesting brochure on-site.  This is a great side trip, and, as always, I encourage everybody to stop and see what lies just beyond the towpath.

Sallie Pollock's Markers

Sallie Pollock’s Markers


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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John on March 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Did you every find the Confederate grave at Lock 69 near Oldtown, MD? It is just off the towpath on the right if you are traveling down canal, but you have to look hard especially if the undergrowth is in full bloom. The best time is during the winter and early spring. Someone is looking after it because I have found plastic flowers and memorial flags around the marker. The stone is very worn and it is extremely hard to read the information. I figure that whom every it is they were at one time, the lock keeper and laid to rest near his place of employment.


    • Posted by LevelWalker on March 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm


      Yes, I’ve seen it. It is really hard to find at times. A friend of mine has a C&O site, and he explained where it’s located. Like you–and others–I also wonder who decorated the grave.

      The Pollock Cemetery is also a great place to journey off of the towpath. When we were there, there was a very informative leaflet on site.

      Likewise, there is a graveyard just upstream from Purslane Run, and there are supposed to be canal workers buried at St. Patrick’s in Little Orleans. Then there’s Doubleday Hill in Williamsport…

      Lots of graveyards!!!!!


  2. Posted by Jack on July 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Does anyone know the location of a cemetery near the canal that is associated with the Revolution? One or more men are buried there, from a group that journeyed to Massachusetts to fight after they learned of the battles of Lexington and Concord.

    I came across the cemetery once but don’t remember where it is.


  3. Posted by mike edwards on September 26, 2016 at 7:52 am

    ben to it and find it interrting


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