Established in the 1830s by Samuel Martin, a free Black man, the land along Martin’s Lane
and Middle Lane became Rockville’s first African American neighborhood called “Haiti.”
Several people, formerly enslaved by Margaret Beall, who lived in the Beall-Dawson House on W. Montgomery Ave., purchased land from her, often with existing houses. Those families made up a mixed free and enslaved African American community. Members of these families continued to work for Beall and Dawson heirs well into the 20th Century.
Martin’s Lane served as the center around which the Haiti Community developed. Many of the families now living on Martin’s Lane are direct descendants of those who first settled there in the 19th Century.
Founded around or after 1876, Haiti Cemetery is the earliest burial ground for black residents in Rockville. An heir of Samuel Martin, born enslaved to the Nichols family, sold cemetery sites to members of local Black churches on an unused portion of garden in the Haiti community.
Almost all of the individuals buried at Haiti Cemetery are related. The cemetery is under private ownership and is still in use as a family burial ground.