The Pleasant View Historic Site is comprised of the Quince Orchard Colored School, the Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Pleasant View Cemetery – each different resource with different needs for preservation. Encroaching development, deferred maintenance, and lack of funding has begun to show on the historic properties that need a unified direction and plan to decry their historical significance and secure a brighter future.
Preservation Maryland will assist with strategic visioning for the site, identifying new partnerships, while also working to secure capital funding to stabilize and rehabilitate the historic structures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.