Annapolis National Cemetery

Then and now...

Annapolis National Cemetery

Amazingly, Annapolis National Cemetery hasn't changed all that much during its history - at least not over the past 110 or so years, as these "then and now" photographs demonstrate.   While the trees and shrubs in the older pictures are no longer there, the building, the road and the flagpole are now in pretty much the same place as they were more than one hundred years ago.

Click on a picture for a larger version of that picture

cemetery scene, c. 1900
cemetery scene, 1998
cemetery from West Street, c. 1900
cemetery from West Street, 1998

The two historical photographs, presented here courtesy of the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, show the cemetery in 1888.  The gentleman in the photographs is Cemetery Superintendent Lyman Bartholomew May.

The "now" companion photographs were taken from as close to the original locations as I could determine.  The photograph of the cemetery gate was fairly easy to recreate, as the location of the building and the road are relatively unchanged (note the two cannon and stack of cannon balls near the gentleman in front of the building: the cannon today are mounted in front of the present lodge building; the cannon balls are gone).

The photograph taken among the graves is another matter, however; because the trees and shrubs which appear in the older picture are now long since gone, the only reference I have is the lay of the land and the tombstones themselves. I took this "now" picture from a location based upon the row of tombstones in front of the gentleman in the picture - the row which extends to the bottom of the picture - which appears to be straight, while the row behind it - the row in which the gentleman is standing - drops off down a slight hill.

About the gentleman, Mr. May

The following information is gratefully received from Mrs. Cynthia A. May Walker, Mr. May's great-great-granddaughter:

Lyman Bartholomew May was born in New York state on October 11, 1837; he served in the Civil War from 1861 to 1863, when he was discharged after being wounded at the second battle of Bull Run.   During his career Mr. May served as Cemetery Superintendent at the following National Military Cemeteries:

Mr. May died June 20, 1930 and was interred at Annapolis National Cemetery beside his wife, Helen H. May (nee Decover), who passed in January 1889.

Mrs. Walker identified Mr. May from the photograph taken among the graves, of which she has a copy that was passed along to her from her grandparents. Mrs. Walker also dated the photographs by comparing them to others in her posession which show Mr. May with Mrs. Helen May in the background; in that Mr. May became Superintendent in 1888 and Mrs. May died in January 1889, these photographs - based upon the lush foliage on the trees as well as the fact that Mrs. May appears in the companion photographs in Mrs. Walker's posession - appear to have been taken in the late summer of 1888.

Annapolis National Cemetery
Last updated Wednesday, October 36, 2016