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Our History

For more than 50 years, Resthaven Memorial Gardens has been dedicated to memorializing loved ones with honor, respect and dignity.

Resthaven was established in 1961 as the first multi-faith, non-sectarian cemetery serving Frederick and Montgomery counties. At that time, Resthaven encompassed a little more than 25 acres. The cemetery only had a gravel road with less then two dozen burials. Today, there are over 17,000 lot owners and more than 12 gardens, with the largest expansion of services soon to come.

With the addition of 50 acres on the western side of Route 15  and 9 acres to the north*, Resthaven now has expanded to more then 90 acres. We continue to grow, now offering over a dozen gardens, four garden mausoleums, a full indoor chapel mausoleum, and a full service crematory. Resthaven is the first in Frederick County to perform cremations on site, and offers many options for memorialization of cremated remains.

 (*In 2006, Resthaven acquired 9 acres adjoining its northern border, the former site of a state rest area, including a gorgeous outlook and access to the Monocacy River.)

Under Maryland law, Resthaven is considered a perpetual care cemetery. A specific percentage of the purchase price of each space is deposited in a perpetual care trust fund. The current trustee is the First United Bank of Maryland. This care fund is irrevocable. Only the interest may be used to maintain and improve the grounds, buildings and equipment, to ensure that Resthaven will always remain a place of beauty, dignity and respect. The principal may not be withdrawn.

Resthaven has been built through the foresight of advocating the concept of Pre-planning, saving property owners thousands of dollars while helping to ease the emotional strain that we all experience during a time of loss.

Protecting your rights

Richard Cody, the President of Resthaven, has also been a leader in helping to fight for consumer rights in Maryland, bringing attention to laws which result in unjust treatment of funeral and cemetery consumers in our state. Because of his type of activism, people in Maryland can now choose where they purchase their casket, and can now freeze the expense.

Mr. Cody has also been an advocate for public safety, especially when he meets families who have suffered from loss of life that could have been prevented. His efforts to improve Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain Highway, US Route 15, is a prime example.

For the first 20 years of Resthaven’s service to the Frederick community, US Route 15 North was only a two lane highway. Despite repeated efforts at that time, by 1981, legislation providing funding to dualize the highway to its current 4-lane status had not yet been approved.

He erected a bold sign on cemetery property at the edge of US Route 15. The sign read: "CAUTION you are about to enter one of the most DANGEROUS HIGHWAYS in the nation!" Fatalities since 1976 ... 51;" sadly amending the total after each additional fatality.

Motorist and truckers responded to the sign with great approval, as did the general public. The sign even made international news. The State Roads Commission did not approve, and tried to force Mr. Cody to remove the sign. He resisted successfully, citing freedom of speech - and the sign remained. By the end of 1982, funding for the final segment of US Route 15 was approved, and the highway was eventually widened.

A footnote to this story is that a group of citizens in Pennsylvania requested the use of the sign, to bring attention to their area of Route 15, and placed it over the state line. They were equally successful.

Additional Planning Resources

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