Mount Zion Cemetery


The crumbling graveyard dates from the early 1800s. It takes its name from Mt Zion United Methodist Church, which used to be located beside the site. Toppled, overgrown headstones scatter in a forlorn patch of trees, marking the graves of some 500 to 1500 African American residents. During the mid-1800s, slaves escaping from the South hid in a vault on the grounds.

Mt Zion is actually composed of two cemeteries – the old Methodist Burying Grounds and the Female Union Band Society Graveyard – though no fence marks the separation.

To reach the cemetery, look for the 'No Outlet' road (Mill Rd) leading in just west of the building at 2531 Q St NW (and just east of Dumbarton House's gate).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Georgetown attractions

1. Female Union Band Society Cemetery

0.01 MILES

This cemetery was founded in 1842 by a society of free black women who pledged to help one another in sickness and in death. The graveyard originally was…

2. Dumbarton House

0.07 MILES

Often confused with Dumbarton Oaks (the mansion and gardens), Dumbarton House is a modest Federal-style historic home, constructed by a wealthy family in…

3. Croatian Embassy


An impressive sculpture fronts the building: a life-size, cross-legged St Jerome dreaming over his book, by renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

4. Turkish Ambassador’s Residence


Edward Everett, inventor of the grooved bottle cap, commissioned the imposing 1914 manor that is now the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence. George Oakley…

5. Woodrow Wilson House

0.24 MILES

This Georgian-revival mansion offers guided hour-long tours focusing on the 28th president’s life and legacy. Genteel docents discuss highlights of Wilson…

6. Oak Hill Cemetery

0.28 MILES

This 24-acre, obelisk-studded cemetery contains winding walks and 19th-century gravestones set into the hillsides of Rock Creek. It’s a fantastic spot for…

7. Mt Zion United Methodist Church


Founded in 1816, Mt Zion United Methodist Church is DC’s oldest black congregation. Its original site, on 27th St NW, was a stop on the Underground…

8. Luxembourg Embassy


Congressman Alexander Stewart built this show-stopper of a home in 1909 in the grand court style of Louis XIV. In 1941 the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg…