Since it’s creation, the Heritage Fund has supported hundreds of local and regional historic preservation, community development, and educational projects in Maryland with nearly $1 million of financial support. Along with our partners, the Maryland Historical Trust, we are very proud of our selected projects and the collective impact they have on protecting and promoting Maryland heritage. Please read on for all of the FY2016 projects:


Awarded October 1, 2015

Organization: Accohannock Indian Tribe

Type: Planning and Feasibility

Project: Accohannock Collection Planning and Preservation

Location: Somerset County

Grant Award: $4,000

Description: The Accohannock Indian Tribe has centuries of presence in the tidewater region of Virginia and Eastern Shore of Maryland. They are descended from the Occohannock People who had contact with John Smith in 1608. This grant will provide funding to hire a consultant to develop short and long-term plans to preserve a collection of culturally valuable tribal artifacts and art pieces. Currently, the Tribe lacks the personnel and financial resources to care for the collection and implement a strategy to use it for educational purposes. The Tribe hopes to preserve their collection to display in their own museum. Partnering with the Tribe, the consultant will help create long-term strategies, goals, and objectives for artifact preservation as well as secure additional funding to complete this plan of action.

Funding:  The Accohannock Indian Tribe received $4,000 toward a $12,575 planning and feasibility project. Staff and additional funding for this project will come from tribal volunteers providing in-kind support.

Organization: St. John’s Episcopal Church

Type: Repair and Rehabilitation

Project: Belfry Restoration

Location: Havre de Grace, Harford County

Grant Award: $7,000

Description: Situated in historic Havre de Grace, the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church is listed in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Places, is a designated local landmark, and is located in a local historic district. This grant will supplement funds raised through their capital campaign to the restore the ca. 1835 church belfry. This architectural feature is an iconic part of the church and of downtown Havre de Grace. Currently, the belfry is in woeful need of structural support and repainting.

Funding:  St. John’s Episcopal Church received $7,000 towards a $50,000 repair and rehab project. Additional funding will come from an on-going capital campaign. Restoration began in late 2016.

Organization: C&O Canal Trust

Type: Education and Research

Project: Promoting Swains Lockhouse Restoration

Location: Montgomery County

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: The C&O Canal Trust is the official non-profit partner of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park working together to preserve the Park and create programs that highlight the Park. The C&O Canal is one of a few canals in the country that is largely intact – including the the Swain’s Lockhouse that was built in the 1830s and modified in 1889. The Lockhouse served as housing for lockkeepers, then was used as a concession stand run by the Swain family until the mid-2000s. Currently, the Lockhouse has extensive damage from a leaking roof and exposed dormer window. This grant will fund marketing materials, donor cultivation events, and a blog series to raise awareness of the larger fundraising campaign.

Funding: C&O Canal Trust received $5,000 towards a $29,015 project. The C&O Canal Trust’s general operating funds currently in-hand will supply the balance of funds required for the remaining fundraising and marketing costs for this project.

Update: There are architectural plans for the rehabilitation of the Lockhouse and it is sometimes open for tours by the Trust.

Organization: Historical Society of Charles County

Type: Planning and Feasibility

Project: Interpreting the Story of Rich Hill

Location: Port Tobacco, Charles County

Grant Award: $6,500

Description: Owned by the Historical Society of Charles County, Rich Hill is a two-story, gable-roofed frame building built in the early to mid-18th century but with alterations circa 1800, circa 1825, and the late 19th century. The main house possesses many architectural features that are significant to the study and interpretation of the vernacular architecture of Southern Maryland. As Colonel Samuel Cox hid John Wilkes Booth at Rich Hill during his flight after assassinating Abraham Lincoln, the house is part of the Booth Escape Scenic Byway. This grant will support the Society’s efforts to educate the public about the historical importance of Rich Hill. Specifically, it will fund a report to include a literature review, a site study, and a feasibility study.

Funding: The Historical Society of Charles County received $6,500 towards an $8,000 project. Additional funding will come from an in-kind match from the Friends of Rich Hill and donations.

Status: The report, Interpreting Rich Hill, was completed by Dean Kimmel of Creative Museum Services in July 2016.

Organization: Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture

Type: Education and Research

Project: Assessment and Digitization of the Mutual Benefits Society Register

Location: Baltimore City

Grant Award: $3,000

Description: The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is the premier educational resource for promoting public knowledge of the African American experience in Maryland. The death registers from the Mutual Benefit Society provide significant documentary evidence of the upper respiratory infection that swept through Baltimore’s black community in the early 20th century. This grant will support an assessment of the conservation of the both registers and hiring a project manager to acquire a database management system and digitize the collection. Accomplishing these goals would ensure the preservation of materials documenting Baltimore’s African American business culture, the history of disease and health in Baltimore, and valuable demographic data on Baltimore’s early 20th century African American community.

Funding: The Reginald F. Lewis Museum received $3,000 towards a $13,040 project. Additional funding will come from individual donors, museum operations, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Organization: St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation

Type: Archaeology

Project: Archaeology Collections Curation and National Register Nomination Preparation at the Cremona Estate

Location: St. Mary’s County

Grant Award: $4,000

Description: Cremona Estate, settled in the 17th century by the Ashcom family, is significant in St. Mary’s County for the long-term history its structures, landscape, and archaeological remains encompass spanning the prehistoric Early Woodland period into the mid-20th century. Of particular interest here are the remains of original 17th and 18th century settlements of West Ashcom. This grant will help to fund a comprehensive site report that will be used to prepare an application for the National Register of Historic Places and a comprehensive preservation and interpretive plan for the Cremona Foundation, the organization that currently manages the property’s historic resources. It will also cover student wages and overhead costs associated with the cataloging of discovered artifacts.

Funding: St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation received $4,000 towards a $10,170 project. Additional funding will come from in-kind labor donated by Dr. Liza Gijanto, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at St. Mary’s. Funding from the Foundation will cover all necessary supplies.

Update: Principal investigator, Dr. Liza Gijanto, Assistant Professor at St. Mary’s College authored, Phase II Archaeological Investigations at 18ST871 2015 Winter Field Season at Cremona Estate, in August 2016.

Organization: Town of Brookeville

Type: Interpretation

Project: Entrance Signs

Location: Town of Brookeville, Montgomery County

Grant Award: $1,250

Description: During the War of 1812, the Town of Brookeville provided refuge to President James Madison as well as other refugees from Washington and Georgetown, and to American militiamen on their way to defend Baltimore from the British advance. In addition, the town provided safekeeping for the US Senate’s papers and the specie from Washington’s and Georgetown’s banks. This grant will support the design and construction of three signs, installed at each entrance to the town, that tell this history through text and images.

Funding: The Town of Brookeville received $1,250 towards the $5,000 project with additional funding will come from Heritage Montgomery, the Town of Brookeville, and volunteer time.

Status: Entrance signs for the Town of Brookeville were installed in early 2017.

Architectural rendering of the Wallace Office Building.

Architectural rendering of the Wallace Office Building.

Organization: West End Citizens Association

Type: Repair and Rehablitation

Project: Wallace Office Building Restoration

Location: Cambridge, Dorchester County

Grant Award: $10,000

Description: The Wallace Office Building was constructed in 1852 as the law office of Colonel James Wallace, Civil War commander, successful attorney, and state senator. Wallace used the office to recruit members of the 1st Regiment Eastern Shore Maryland Volunteers, who participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. The Wallace Office Building is also the purest Greek Revival building in Cambridge and sited prominently at the major entrance to the Cambridge Historic District. Currently, however, severe dry rot in floor beams, door and window sills, rising damp in the stucco-over-masonry walls, spalling and deterioration of exterior surfaces all exist and continue to worsen. This grant will assist with the effort to restore the building to its original historic appearance. These funds would be applied to the cost of the repair of the exterior stucco.

Funding: The West End Citizens Association received $10,000 towards a $129,500 project. Additional funding will come from membership donations and the Bartus Trew Providence Fund.

Organization: Pleasant View Historic Association

Type: Planning and Feasibility

Project: Strategic Plan for Pleasant View Historic Site

Location: Gaithersburg, Montgomery County

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: Pleasant View Historic Site is a three acre lot that is comprised of the former Quince Orchard Colored School, the former Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Pleasant View Cemetery. With the complex of intact resources, the site is representative of the post-Civil War era growth of the Methodist Church in general, and the Washington Negro Conference in particular. The School is representative of the crowded and inadequate facilities that were the result of segregation in the late 1800s. In 1940, the school served 122 children in seven grades, making it the fifth largest elementary school for blacks in the County. Once rehabilitated the buildings can be used as a community center facility. Immediate needs at the site include an initial engineering assessment, a strategic plan, and marketing and branding for the Pleasant View Historic Association.

Funding: The Pleasant View Historic Association received $5,000 to hire a consultant to develop a strategic plan and develop a new governance structure for the organization.

Update: Pleasant View Historic Site was selected as a Preservation Maryland Six-to-Fix project in October 2015 coalescing staff time, expert volunteers, and financial resources to the project. This Heritage Fund grant covered the costs of hiring preservation consultant, Patricia Williams, in March 2016 – that report is forthcoming. In April 2016, Keast & Hood structural engineers donated an extensive and professional structural assessment. The strategic planning is on-going.

My Ly, architect, and preservationist working at Holly Hall, 2016.

My Ly, architect, and preservationist working at Holly Hall, 2016.

Organization: Town of Elkton

Type: Planning and Feasibility

Project: Holly Hall Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse

County: Elkton, Cecil County

Grant Award: $4,000

Description: Holly Hall is a 200 year old Federal-style brick mansion with parapets unique in Maryland and uncommon in America. Holly Hall was constructed by General James A. Sewell, a prominent citizen of Elkton who served in the War of 1812, successfully defending the town against British attack. He served as Clerk of the Circuit Court in Cecil County for 24 years and helped create the first rail line running from Baltimore to Philadelphia. Vacant for a number of years, the building has been damaged by fire and vandalism. Potential adaptive reuses for the building include a business incubator, shared work space, event venue, culinary art school, charter school, or town visitor center.

Funding: The Town of Elkton received a $4,000 grant which will cover the cost of hiring a community planning consultant, My Ly, that will help town officials conduct a planning charrette and get the community’s input on the buildings best use.

Update: Holly Hall was selected as a Preservation Maryland Six-to-Fix project that will focus staff time, funding, and expert volunteers towards the maintenance and adaptive reuse of this rare structure in Cecil County.


Artwell's sign on the Hearn Hardware Building. Photo by Meagan Baco.

Artwell’s sign on the Hearn Hardware Building. Photo by Meagan Baco.

Organization: Dorchester County Council

Type: Planning and Feasibility

Project: Stabilization of the Hearn Building

Location: Cambridge, Dorchester County

Grant Award: $10,000

Description: The former Herbert Hearn Hardware Company building was built around 1914 by the prominent Cambridge architect J. Benjamin Brown. It is a good example of early 20th century Cambridge industrial architecture and helps tell the story of the economic and social development of the town. Currently, the façade is in severe structural distress. This grant will help stabilize a wall that has partially collapsed. The building can be adaptively reused as retail office space and/or residential space.

Funding: Dorchester County Council received $10,000 towards a $750,000 project. Additional funding will come from the Department of Housing and Community Development, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, and Dorchester County.


Awarded March 30, 2016

Organization: Community Law Center

Type: Research and Education

Project: Educational Program on Vacant Buildings in Historic Neighborhoods in Baltimore

Location: Baltimore City

Grant Award: $6,000

Description: Community Law Center and Baltimore Heritage will plan a new educational program using workshops, printed materials, and online resources to inform historic neighborhoods in northwest and southwest Baltimore of legal strategies available to address issues with vacancies while, at the same time, protecting historic vacant properties. The goal of this project is to encourage resident-led efforts to seek stabilization and rehabilitation of vacant properties as alternatives to demolition. In response to the Project C.O.R.E. proposal expanding funding for demolition in Baltimore, there is an urgent need to give residents the information they need to pursue the stabilization and rehabilitation of vacant buildings where they see preservation as a priority.

Funding: The Community Law Center received $6,000 towards a $10,450 research and education project. Staff and additional funding for this project will be acquired through unrestricted donations for Community Law Center and Baltimore Heritage.

Organization: Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Inc.

Type: Research and Education

Project: New Organizational and Educational Website

Location: Statewide

Grant Award: $4,000

Description: The Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Inc has acted as the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving historic Maryland cemeteries since 1991. The Coalition assists with uniform procedures, better databases, public awareness, widespread information, and guidance. The Coalition will better be able to network and spread information among jurisdictions through greater visibility and an enhanced website presence. The grant will support Coalition access, communication, and organizational development. Better visibility will engage the public in preservation issues, encourage owners, provide links to resources, and raise the Coalition’s profile. This project will strengthen the organization and enable its goals, creating an informative and interactive central place to learn about how to research cemeteries and burials, what laws and resources are in place, current issues, and examples of successes while providing networking opportunities.

Funding: The Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites was awarded a $4,000 grant toward a $6,605 project with additional funding coming from the organization itself and in-kind donations.

Update: In November 2016, the new Coalition website went live at and the Coalition was selected as a partner organization for Preservation Maryland’s Six-to-Fix program.

Organization: Hosanna Community House, Inc.

Type: Research and Education

Project: Sesquicentennial of Harford County’s Freedmen’s Bureau Schools

Location: Harford County

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: The Hosanna School is a former Freedmen’s Bureau school and stands as the first public school for black children in Harford County. The ca. 1867 one-room school house was restored in 2005 and is operated by the Hosanna Community House, Inc. as the Hosanna School Museum with the mission to research, preserve, present, and share the social and cultural history the African American experience in Harford County.  The organization will use the Heritage Fund grant conduct extensive research in preparation for interpretative exhibitions and public programs that promote the preservation, presentation, and sharing of the often-overlooked post-Civil War, Reconstruction period in American history.

Funding: Hosanna Community House, Inc. received a $5,000 grant towards the $21,407 research project. Additional funds will be provided by cash on-hand and in-kind contributions, including annual county appropriations. A sesquicentennial commemoration research project will culminate in exhibits and public programming that explore the significance of the Hosanna School to the community.

Organization: Zion Church of the City of Baltimore

Type: Repair and Rehabilitation

Project: Adlersaal Restoration

County: Baltimore City

Grant Award: $9,000

Description: The Zion Church of the City of Baltimore was founded in 1755 and the current church complex on Gay Street completed in 1808, including the Hanseatic Old World-style Adlersaal, also known as Eagle’s Hall. The highly decorated interior room has hosted significant celebrations, and opened its doors during both World Wars in order to accommodate the lodging of more than 15,000 servicemen. The property consisting of the church, the Parish Hall and Sexton House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, and is located within the Baltimore National Heritage Area. The goal of restoring the Adlersaal is to establish a German-American Cultural Center that will generate funds via membership and activities. This project will stimulate preservation activities by informing the public and those with German heritage of the contributions of German-Americans to Maryland’s rich history.

Funding: The Zion Church of the City of Baltimore received a $9,000 grant toward a $24,000 research project.

Update: The restoration work in the Aldersaal was completed in Spring 2016.

Organization: The Accokeek Foundation

Type: Repair and Rehabilitation

Project: Restoration at the Laurel Branch and Tobacco Barn

Location: Prince George’s County

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: The mission of The Accokeek Foundation, established in 1957, is to cultivate passion for the natural and cultural heritage of the National Park Service Piscataway Park with a commitment to stewardship and sustainability. Their National Colonial Farm includes two historic buildings, moved from other locations in Southern Maryland that are in need of restoration. The ca. 1770 Laurel Branch farmhouse represents a type of house favored by middling colonial families and currently houses an interactive exhibit; the other is Tracy’s Landing Tobacco Barn, one of possibly two surviving 18th century tobacco barns in Anne Arundel County. Since the buildings reside in a National Park that is open to the public year-round, visitors are likely to be on-site through the duration of the project, providing the opportunity to engage the public in discussions of the importance of historic preservation

Funding: The Accokeek Foundation was awarded a $5,000 grant toward the $15,190 restoration of the Laurel Branch farmhouse and the Tobacco Barn. Additional funding will be sourced from the Foundation’s in-hand, matching funds, a grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution, corporate support from Home Depot and Lowe’s, and raising $1,000 in individual contributions.

Organization: Queen Anne’s County Historical Society

Type: Planning and Feasiblity; Repair and Rehablitaiton

Project: Documentation, Planning, and Weatherization at Burrisville Mt. Zion ME Church

County: Churchill, Queen Anne’s County

Grant Award: $3,000

Description: Queen Anne’s County Historical Society is a non-profit organization that has focused exclusively on local heritage and historic preservation. Burrisville Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1884 and currently provides both religious and support services to the local African American community of northern Queen Anne’s County. In the Tidewater Folk Victorian-style, the historic site grouping of an African American church chapel, hall, and cemetery is one of only a few intact examples surviving in Queen Anne’s County. This project aims to complete research and documentation for the designation forms of the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and National Register of Historic Places, the creation of a preservation plan, and weatherization of the buildings. This project will result in short-term and long-term preservation solutions for a rural African American site that is underrepresented in history and in danger of future demolition.

Funding: The Queen Anne’s County Historical Society received a $3,000 grant toward the $11,000 project. Additional funding will be come from a 10% in-kind match, charitable donations, event fundraising, and, potential crowd sourcing.

The Heritage Fund, a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust, provides direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are all eligible for funding.

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