Greenwood Presbyterian Church Cemetery


This article was written by Janie MacDonald in the 1970's for the First United Presbyterian Church.

Within little more than a stone's throw of where our Presbyterian Church (First United Presbyterian Church of Dale City) now stands, another once stood. It was called the Greenwood Church and was located just to the right of what is now the entrance to Bel Air on Old Delaney Road.

As you enter the area you see a large stone step. From that you can find much of the foundation and then envision a traditional frame church with stained glass windows and a steeple. To the right you'll find a cemetery where among the graves you'll see those of the Strobert family, three of whom died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Inside an iron fence are the graves of Thomas Clark and his wife, Mary M. Beside Mary's grave is a marker placed by the Mount Vernon Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, designating her as a "real daughter" meaning that her father was a Revolutionary War soldier.

The first Greenwood church was organized in 1848 and completed, probably a log structure, in 1855. The trusteees, three dairymen who had recently come to this area from the north, were Abram Waldon, Thomas Clark, and his son-in-law, Oliver Chamberlain, on whose property the church stood.

During the War Between the States, Union troops occupied the church. Apparently one morning they went off without extinquishing their fires. The Chamberlain ladies who lived nearby, saw the smoke, ran to the Church and saved the Communion pewter which had been made by the reputable Roswell Gleason.

The church was not rebuilt until 1908. Mr. Lute Pearson of Manassas, now 79, remembers his father and William Clark hewing the wood for the new structure with a broad axe. Local rocks were used for the foundation. The families of the church saved their pennies for the stained glass windows. He remembers Dr. J. Garland Hamner, D. D. S., a minister of the Manassas Presbyterian Church for 1899-1910, coming over in a horse and buggy to preach the Sunday services and then staying for the traditional Sunday dinner at the Pearson home.

By 1919, the local community had all but dissolved, it was then that the building was sold and the usable parts removed. (To Manassas, where they became parts of another building near the railroad station--but I don't know which building.)

Note: Lute Pearson died about ten years ago (1960s). The communion silver is in the possession of some of his relatives.

Survey Details

Classification: Religious
Status: Maintained, Still in use
Condition: Good
Approx. Size: 110 x 100 feet
Approximate Number of Burials: 30
Earliest Burial Date: 1850
Latest Burial Date: 1993
Markers: Tombstone, Fieldstone, Unmarked
Surnames Listed on Markers:
Calvert, Clarence Preston 1911 - 1922
Calvert, Howard Maynard 1914 - 1924
Calvert, Maggie Catherine 1888 - 1926
Calvert, George Phillip
Clarke, Clara Feb 15, 1848 - Aug 18, 1905
Clarke, Frederick Jan 27, 1854 - Dec 7, 1877
Clarke, William August 7, 1850
Clarke, Mary M. Wife of Thomas June 4, 1822 - Aug 4, 1921
Clarke, Thomas born in Shanford, England Dec 21, 1817, served three years during the Civil War in 2nd Reg. of D.C. Vols. - died Feb 7, 1908
Comstock, Elma A. 22 Mar 1890 - 22 Sept. 1915
Comstock, Mary Frazier 1857 - 1949
Comstock, Orville A. 22 Mar 1838 - 5 May 1904
Florence, Edna I. 10 Aug 1907 - 20 May 1913
Florence, Elizabeth Briggs 2 Oct 1918 - 30 Oct 1918
Florence, James A. 20 Jun 1850 - 21 May 1915
Frazier, Thomas C. 20 May 1828 - 5 Feb 1906
Hershey, John Elmer 12 Nov 1876 - 19 Jun 1962
Hershey, William A. died 1872
Hershey, William C. 28 Sep 1872 - 8 Aug 1902
Rampey, Victor H. 1905 - 1939
Randall, Victor N. 1905 - 1939
Strobert, Angelica M. 11 Jul 1844 - 31 Jan 1915
Strobert, Emma Lee 21 Mar 1874 - 15 Jan 1919
Strobert, Franklin H. 20 Feb 1902 - 16 Jan 1919
Strobert, Walter A. 25 Jan 1872 - 12 Jan 1919
Strobert, William L. 8 Jan 1833 - 17 Jan 1894
Turner, David Clinton 22 May 1941 - 6 Sep 1993
Turner, Martin L. 18 Sep 1876 - 25 Nov 1946
Turner, Thomas O. 25 Jul 1925 - 18 Nov 1935

Comments: The cemetery is in very bad condition with tombstones overturned and trash dumped inside.
Surveyed By: Ron Turner - 1994, 2001
Latitude / Longitude: 38.642873, -77.348096

Site Visits

Visited by: Date: Comments:
Ron Turner 1994, 2001 The cemetery is in very bad condition with tombstones overturned and trash dumped inside.
Robbie Melson 2009 Robbie Melson of Eagle Scout Troup 964 cleaned up this cemetery.
Robert Moser 2012 Robert Moser did extensive restoration work at this cemetery and drafted the wording for the historical marker.
Jeff Irwin 2013 Jeff Irwin, volunteer archeologist, completed a map of the cemetery with list of graves. See below.
David Cuff June 2014 This is the cemetery I found while riding bicycles with my now wife, Jenn. I walked Old Delaney Road for a five mile walk patch when I was in the Cub Scouts around 1987 (I was 8 years old) when it was still just a gravel road and never knew there was a cemetery here. The pillars to Bel Air were very overgrown and hardly visable in the summer. I always wanted to walk up the driveway towards Bel Air but we were told a scary old man lived up there. We didn't know about Bel Air then. Seeing this cemetery on our bike ride lead me to Ron Turner's website via a google search. His work fueled my addiction to local history and as they say, the rest is history.


Images taken Nov. 2015

Cemetery Layout

View the cemetery layout and grave locations on these diagrams drawn by Jeff Irwin in 2013. View the images below in the original pdf.