The Harrisville Malone Cemetery Maintenance Fund are stewards of the historic Malone’s Church in Dorchester County. Through a Six-to-Fix partnership with Preservation Maryland, the all-volunteer group participated in a professionally facilitated strategic planning session to chart a course to meet their preservation, interpretation and tourism goals.

Malone's Church, 1981. Photo from Maryland Historical Trust.

Malone’s Church, 1981. Photo from Maryland Historical Trust.

Historic Malone’s Church sits deep in Dorchester County along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and is an authentic representation of the 18th century communities that free and enslaved African Americans formed and nurtured. The chapel extent on the property dates to the 1890s and was a replaced the first chapel built in the 1870s. The surrounding cemetery contains burials from an array of time period including historic burials of Harriet Tubman’s in-laws and also recent burials. Today, the chapel, cemetery, and property are not supported by an active congregation but by members of the Harrisville Malone Cemetery Maintenance Fund (HMCMF).

Because of the integrity and importance of this historic site, the HMCMF has been engaged in preserving the historic resources and also in finding a new sustainable purpose for the building and property to continue to serve the community.

This April, members of the board of the Harrisville Malone Cemetery Maintenance Fund participated in a strategic planning session hosted at the offices of the Heart of the Chesapeake State Heritage Area. During the day-long process, Diane Caslow, Vice President of Strategic and Business Planning for MedStar Health (and a member of the Preservation Maryland board of director), led an engaging and wide-ranging dialogue from what opportunities and challenges face the site and the organization to sharing the very personal connections HMCMF members have with the sacred historic site.

At the end of the day, HMCMF had crafted an actionable plan for Malone’s Church based on their current needs, organizational mission, and goals for the future.

Note: Previously, a team from Preservation Maryland created baseline architectural documentation of the historic church and presented HMCMF with measured drawings that can be used to note current conditions and preservation issues. This type of documentation is an essential first step to understanding the construction and condition of any historic property.

See the drawings