Maryland Historical Trust Winter 2017 Newsletter

MHT Flag Newsletter Masthead


Welcome to the Maryland Historical Trust's Winter 2017 Newsletter! Each quarter, we deliver the news you need to keep up to date on our preservation programs. 


Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grants Awarded

For Fiscal Year 2018, the Maryland Historical Trust awarded nine grants totaling $200,000 to nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions throughout the state. Made available through Maryland General Assembly general funds, these grants support research, survey, planning and educational activities. Grants for the 2018 round included $20,000 to Preservation Maryland for "Documenting Maryland's Women's Suffrage History," a project building on Maryland Historical Trust intern Kacy Rohn's recent work, which featured a storymap of key moments and places associated with women's suffrage statewide. 

Capital Grant Deadline Extended!

Intent to Apply forms for the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program will now be due February 1, 2018. Full applications will be due March 15. 

ICYMI: MHT Press Holiday Sale

The Maryland Historical Trust Press Holiday Sale is back! We publish and sell technical reports, books, maps, posters, videotapes, and educational materials. Sale prices are good through December 31, 2017 while supplies last.

MHT Press

Save the Date for the 2018 Maryland Preservation Awards!

On February 1, 2018, come celebrate ten wonderful people, places and organizations at the annual Maryland Preservation Awards! Hosted by the MHT Board of Trustees, the event is free and open to the public.

African American Heritage Preservation Projects Receive $1 Million

The African American Heritage Preservation Program, a partnership of the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, awarded 12 grants totaling $1 million to Maryland non-profit groups for FY 2018. These grants, described below, offer assistance to support acquisition, construction or improvement of African American heritage projects.      

Jane Gates Heritage House

Jane Gates Heritage House, Inc. - Jane Gates Heritage House in Cumberland ($100,000)

Between Maryland's Emancipation and 1871, Jane Gates, a former slave, worked as a laundress and nurse to save $1,400 – enough to purchase a home on Greene St. in Cumberland. She lived there with her five children, including Edward Gates, the great-grandfather of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent scholar of African American culture. The grant will support the first phase of rehabilitation to convert the house, which is still owned by the Gates family, into a museum and community center.

St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church - St. Stephens A.M.E. Church in Easton ($100,000)

One of the oldest structures in Unionville, St. Stephens A.M.E. Church has served the local black community since 1892. After the Civil War, 18 African American veterans returned to Talbot County and purchased land for a schoolhouse and later St. Stephens Church. The veterans, who are all buried in the cemetery behind the church, may have inspired the village’s name. The grant will fund exterior the rehabilitation of the church and interpretation of the cemetery.

Pleasant View United Methodist Church - Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church in Gaithersburg ($100,000)

Constructed in 1888 on a site purchased by three African American residents of the Quince Orchard community, the Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church represents the post-Civil War era growth of the Methodist Church and the Washington Negro Conference. Today the church is part of the Pleasant View Historic Site, a three-acre property that also includes the Quince Orchard Colored School and the Pleasant View Cemetery. The grant will fund the first phase of exterior rehabilitation.

Civic League
Community Civic League of Federalsburg

Community Civic League of Federalsburg, Inc. - Laurel Grove Road School in Federalsburg ($96,000)

In 1918, the Rosenwald School on Laurel Grove Road in Federalsburg was constructed as a school for African American children and functioned as a school until desegregation in 1964. Over time, multiple additions and two fires compromised the historic integrity of the structure. The building – still used today as a multipurpose community resource – will celebrate its centennial in 2018. The grant will fund the second phase of construction to bring the building up to code.

Historic Easton, Incorporated - Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Easton ($100,000)

The oldest African American church structure in Easton, Asbury M.E. Church was constructed in 1876 and dedicated by Frederick Douglass in 1878. In 1836, Asbury was organized as both a white and black congregation, until a movement to separate black and white members resulted in a plat deeded for the colored church in 1844. Asbury has served the community in various ways, including as a high school and community center. The grant for will fund exterior rehabilitation work.

Bethel Outreach Center, Inc. - Bethel Community Empowerment and Wellness Center in Baltimore ($100,000)

Built in 1920 and now part of the Old West Baltimore National Register Historic District, the Bethel Community Empowerment and Wellness Center building served as a community center for this once-thriving African American neighborhood but currently stands vacant. The grant will help rehabilitate the building to open once again as a resource center for the local African American community, as well as a café, culinary arts training, and a community nutrition program. 

Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center

The Chipman Foundation, Inc. - Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center ($100,000)

Originally constructed as a church, school and meeting hall in 1838, the Charles H. Chipman Center is the oldest African American congregation site in the Delmarva region, as well as the region’s first school for children of freed slaves. The building has been in use as a cultural center since 1994 and houses a museum focused on African American heritage of the Eastern Shore. The grant will fund the next phase of rehabilitation, including fire safety upgrades, roof replacement, and repair of interior plaster and trim.

Mount Zion United Methodist Church - Magothy Elementary Rosenwald School ($100,000)

The Magothy Elementary Rosenwald School was built in the 1920s, with half of the funding provided by the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, and served children until 1959. The proximity of the church and school represent the close traditional relationship between African American churches and education, particularly during the era of segregation when African Americans were denied equal access to public schools. The grant will fund roof and siding replacement and interior repairs.

The Friends of Stanley Institute, Inc. - Stanley Institute in Cambridge ($24,000)

Believed to be one of the oldest surviving one-room schools for African Americans in Dorchester County, the Stanley Institute School was constructed circa 1865 and moved to its current site in 1867. The building functioned as both a school and church until 1875, when Christ Rock Church was built across the street, and is still maintained by the black community. The grant will fund exterior rehabilitation including window repair, painting and repairs to the ADA ramp.

Mt Gilboa
Mt. Gilboa African Methodist Episcopal Church

Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church - Church and Parish House in Baltimore ($100,000)

Built in 1865 for a congregation organized in 1836, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church was erected by African Americans and continuously occupied by the descendants of the same congregation. Four freed slaves purchased the property – originally a paint shop – in 1839 before construction of the existing church and parish house. The grant will fund replacement of the roof.

Mt. Gilboa African Methodist Episcopal Church - Mt. Gilboa A.M.E. Church in Catonsville ($72,000)

Built in 1859 as Mt. Gilboa Chapel, Mt. Gilboa A.M.E. Church is significant as an achievement of free black people of Oella, who built a substantial stone church of approximately the same size and quality as the places of worship used by other small white congregations. The present church, which served worship, school and social needs through the early 1900s, replaces an earlier log chapel where Benjamin Banneker may have worshipped. The grant will fund exterior rehabilitation including foundation repairs.

St. Paul Church Historical, Revitalization, and Maintenance, Inc. - St. Paul Church in Denton ($8,000)

One of the earliest African American churches in Caroline County, St. Paul Church’s cemetery has burials dating back to at least the 1840s, as well as burials of veterans of World War I and World War II. The project’s sponsor intends to rehabilitate the church as a stop along the Underground Railroad Scenic Byway, where members of the public can learn about African American culture in the 19th and 20th centuries, and provide a rest stop for those visiting the cemetery. The grant will assist the rehabilitation, including re-roofing and window repair.