Fall 2021 Newsletter

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Maryland Historical Trust

Each quarter, we deliver the news you need to keep up to date on our preservation programs. Sign up here to join our mailing list!

Architectural Fieldwork Symposium

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Architectural Fieldwork Symposium on October 28th and 29th! This virtual event will discuss projects including the Maryland slave dwelling survey, laser scanning, the American Indian community in Baltimore, historic graffiti, and planned communities in Maryland. Full agenda and registration will be available soon on our web site: https://bit.ly/3hUiSPG.


RSVP for Session with MHT Director

Join us for a virtual listening session with MHT Director Elizabeth Hughes on September 24 from 9:30am-10:30am. The topic is "How can we better assist with preservation issues in your community?" Please RSVP online - space is limited and registration is first come, first served. We hope to see you there!


Preserving Brown United Methodist Church

By Andrew Arvizu, MHAA Assistant Administrator with Greg Bowen, Executive Director, American Chestnut Land Trust

Over the past 35 years, the American Chestnut Land Trust has worked to preserve the unique environmental and cultural history of Southern Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay. The land trust protects vulnerable species, provides much needed wildlife habitats, and provides publicly accessible trails and water access. Starting with a 436-acre tract of land, they now oversee over 3,500 acres in an area known as the Parkers Creek Preserve, which includes a number of historical sites. The Parkers Creek community also includes the Brown United Methodist Church.


This 1976 photo shows the south and west elevations of Brown United Methodist Church.

Dedicated in 1898, the church was a cornerstone of the African American community along the Parkers Creek and Governors Run watersheds in Calvert County. In the aftermath of the Civil War, many African Americans gathered along Parkers Creek, establishing farmsteads near the river. Although most of these farmsteads have been lost, the Brown United Methodist Church serves as a reminder of the community that once resided there. 


Members of the Parkers Creek community after cleaning the adjacent historic cemetery.

The United Methodist Church Conference ceased use of the church in 1972 and over the years the church building deteriorated. Gladys Jones, who grew up in the church, was distraught over the fact that it could be lost. In 2019, she convinced the church to deed the church and cemetery to her in the hope that it could be restored to the community. The American Chestnut Land Trust and Mrs. Jones have teamed up to save the church and, with the help of a Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant, the land trust will have the resources to make much-needed structural repairs. Once repaired, this church will be used to educate the public about the histories of the African American farmsteaders along Parkers Creek.

This year, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority funded a record 117 grants, supporting great projects across the state. From programming and virtual events to new construction and historic preservation, these projects will help partner organizations preserve and protect the heritage, culture, and natural resources of Maryland. Learn more at https://mht.maryland.gov/heritageareas.shtml.

Register Now: Archaeology of Tattooing

The practice of tattooing the skin dates back at least 5,000 years, and preserved marks on mummified remains demonstrate the existence of tattoo traditions in numerous ancient cultures. Join Aaron Deter-Wolf, a prehistoric archaeologist, for "The Archaeology of Tattooing in North America and Beyond" on September 30, part of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum's Speaker Series. This virtual event is free but registration is required.