Open House Planned at Restored Zion Church

Photo | Submitted  Top: After an active 150 years, Zion was badly damaged by fire and the congrega- tion disbanded. For 45 years, the church stood with its three remaining exterior  walls, open to the elements. In 2003, the Zion Church Preservation Committee was formed by Knight Kiplinger and the late Terry Grimes.

Photo | Submitted
After an active 150 years, Zion was badly damaged by fire and the congregation disbanded. For 45 years, the church stood with its three remaining exterior walls, open to the elements. In 2003, the Zion Church Preservation Committee was formed by Knight Kiplinger and the late Terry Grimes.

The restored and refurbished, 217-year-old Zion Episcopal Church and cemetery in Urbana will be open to visitors on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The opportunity to see inside is rare, as the church is normally open by appointment only. Consecrated in 1802, the church was a center of community life in the early Sugarloaf Mountain area of Frederick County, long before there was a village of Urbana. In 1961 it burned.

Today, the church remains one of the most important historical resources in the area.

Interpretive panels and docents will be available at the Sept. 8 open house. At 4 p.m., Knight A. Kiplinger, a leader of the long-running project to rescue the building, will talk about the restoration and the church, which had lain in ruins for decades. The program also will honor the memory of longtime Urbana resident Terry Grimes and her tireless efforts to restore the church and cemetery, and to promote Urbana history.

The cemetery holds graves of several prominent figures in Frederick County life, including veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, including the Battle of Monocacy.

Also interred are people from such prominent families as Johnson, Delaplaine, Worthington, Beall, Murdoch, Cockey, Dronenburg, Dutrow and Strube.

Photo | Pam Schipper Right: Zion Church was the first church built in the area now known as Urbana.

Photo | Pam Schipper
Zion Church was the first church built in the area now known as Urbana.

Zion Church, at 8998 Urbana Church Road in Urbana, is a property of the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation.

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