Pleasant View church in 1975. Photo by M. Dwyer.

Pleasant View: From Civil War to Civil Rights

04/28/2016
By Preservation Maryland

The Pleasant View Historic Site is comprised of the Quince Orchard Colored School, the Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Pleasant View Cemetery. The buildings on this site are monuments to the story of how during segregation African Americans utilized the institutions available to them to forge a new future. The buildings are beginning to suffer from years of deferred maintenance, and Pleasant View needs to embrace new uses to remain relevant to the larger community. This will require a more comprehensive approach to rehabilitation and future use.

UPDATE

keast-hood-pleasant-view-six-to-fix-preservation-maryland-2016-200STRUCTURAL CONDITION ASSESSMENT COMPLETED

As a result of a generous donation of expert staff time by Keast & Hood Structural Engineers, as of April 2016, the Trustees of Pleasant View have a structural condition assessment for the church and school. The document outlines what issues the buildings have and in which order the projects should be tackled. With this assessment in hand, the Trustees can now make a case to potential funders with a strong and accurate plan for stabilization and rehabilitation of the structures.

PRESERVATION CONSULTANT HIRED

In March 2016, the Pleasant View Trustees hired Patricia Williams, a preservation consultant from Prince George’s County to guide them through a strategic planning and organizational restructuring process that will prepare the group to articulate their message and ensure all community stakeholders are involved.

Keast & Hood donated an expert engineering evaluation of the Pleasant View Historic Site.

Keast & Hood donated an expert engineering evaluation of the Pleasant View Historic Site.

HISTORY

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, people clamored to move to Montgomery County, and as they set up new communities, churches and schools went up almost as fast as houses.  The Pleasant View Church, a part of the Washington Grove Circuit of the Washington Negro Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was completed in 1888 for residents of Quince Orchard. In 1901 a one-room frame schoolhouse which began life as a school for white children in 1875 was moved across Darnestown Road to the Pleasant View site so the children in Quince Orchard could attend school.

SIGNIFICANCE

According to the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, Pleasant View Church is important as an example of a small church for a rural black population in Montgomery County. The church was constructed during a period when the Methodist Church was rapidly expanding. In 1968 three small congregations decided to merge and form a new church, Fairhaven Methodist Church, in a new building. Today Pleasant View Church is the only one of those three original church buildings that is still standing and can help tell the story of the development of this community.

THREAT

Over the years the number of people who remember worshiping at Pleasant View Church or attending classes at the Quince Orchard School has dwindled along with the number of people who are interested in preserving its history. A dedicated group of Trustees has done their best to maintain the church and the school and keep this three-acre parcel intact. Deferred maintenance has taken its toll and today both the church and the school building suffer from structural damage.

GOALS

Preservation Maryland is committed to build the capacity of the Trustees and assist them to raise funds to stabilize and rehabilitate the church and school, to develop long-term uses for both structures that will ensure their continued maintenance, to engage community stakeholders in the development of a plan for the site, all to preserve and share the rich history of this site with all who are interested.

 

RESOURCES

Pleasant View Church #2, Quince Orchard Schoolhouse
Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties

Interview with four members of Pleasant View Church
Heritage Montgomery

Discover Gaithersburg: Pleasant View Historical Site
City of Gaithersburg

The Quince Orchard Project
Oral history & documentary 

NEWS

11/04/15
Six-to-Fix Aims to Help Renovate Pleasant View and Quince Orchard
The Gaithersburg Town Courier

PHOTOGRAPHS

Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

Meet Our Team
Our Story Donate Press & Media Resources Contact Us Site by Younts Design Inc. © Preservation Maryland, 2017.