By David S. Rotenstein, PhD
Published on our website by special permission from the author, Dr. David S. Rotenstein
This report represents research on the River Road Moses Cemetery site in Bethesda, Maryland. It was prepared on behalf of the River Road African American descendant community. The following sections include a historic context divided into periods developed by the Maryland Historical Trust for the evaluation of historic properties. The historic context presents substantive archival and oral history research documenting the cemetery site, the community within which it is located, the fraternal organization that founded it, and its historical connections to Washington, D.C.
The historic context is used as a baseline to evaluate the property against the Montgomery County criteria for designation in the Master Plan for Historic Preservation and the National Register of Historic Places. This report finds that the River Road Moses Cemetery appears to be eligible for designation in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation under four criteria: for its associations with the development of Montgomery County and the region; because it exemplifies multiple aspects of Montgomery County’s heritage; because it embodies distinctive characteristics typical of its historic property type; and, because it represents a distinguishable entity within a cultural landscape.