Statue in the garden
Greeting sign at Whipps

History of Whipps

In 1855, the Whipps family bought one acre of land for the sum of $73.25 to serve as a burial ground for the Whipps family. The Whipps were well-known farmers and merchants of the day who also served as blacksmiths at Oakland Manor--now Oakland Mills in Columbia.
The Whipps burial ground was always just a little country cemetery, not affiliated with any church. It never had any formal perpetual care. The individual families looked after their own family plots as best they could. This probably meant a once-a-year clean-up day, usually on Memorial Day, and periodic visits to put flowers on the graves and recall memories, and maybe do a little sprucing up around the tombstones.

In the later 1800s, burial lots were sold to other families. The last burial of Royal C. Whipps took place in 1910 at Whipps Graveyard as it was usually called then.

Not much thought was given to this cemetery until 1984 when building stakes went up in the weeds and bulldozers began clearing the brush! A group of neighbors—members of the St Johns Community Association, Inc. History Signled by Barbara Sieg—decided that this little wooded cemetery had suffered enough neglect and abuse.

In 1987, when the transformation began, the cemetery site was overwhelming with impenetratable weeds and vines. At the same time, there was an indescribable beauty and tranquility there, and an irresistible urge to put the place in order.

Today, the cemetery is owned by The Friends of the Whipps Cemetery and Memorial Gardens, Inc. The cemetery is supported by fund-raisers and donations. It is maintained entirely by volunteers, primarily the University of Maryland Extension Howard County Master Gardeners.


A complete listing of all the headstones at the cemetery includes 16 members of the Whipps family and 40 more for the general public. This list includes both adult and children.