The Mount Zion Cemetery is composed of two separate adjacent cemeteries, the old Methodist Burying Ground and the Female Union Band Society Graveyard.
The two cemeteries equally share the three acres of land. There is no fence or other visible demarcation separating the two cemeteries which over time have become known as the Mount Zion Cemetery.
Although the cemetery buried both white and black people since its inception, it served an almost exclusively African American population after 1849. In 1842, the Female Union Band Society purchased the western lot to establish a secular burying ground for African Americans. Both cemeteries were abandoned by 1950.
The Mount Zion Cemetery is a physical reminder of African American life and the evolving free black culture in the District of Columbia from the earliest days of the city to the present.
Both cemeteries are considered a single unit, and were added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 6, 1975.