Historic Property Redevelopment Manager Laura Houston presents a check from the Heritage Fund to the Burkittsville Preservation Association for the rehabilitation of the on-site barn.

Heritage Fund Recipients: Where Are They Now?

By Preservation Maryland

The FY23 Heritage Fund grant cycle is currently open. As you prepare your application, read more about the success of three past-awarded projects from across the state.

Non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions are eligible to apply. Eligible projects fall into three general categories: education and research, planning and feasibility, and repair and rehabilitation. The minimum grant is $1,000 and the maximum grant is $10,000. Application deadline is March 31, 2023.

Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm, Burkittsville Preservation Association

The Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm is owned and maintained the Burkittsville Preservation Association, a non-profit organization developed for the preservation of the Town of Burkittsville and the surrounding agricultural area, its open spaces, history, culture, and architecture. Burkittsville Preservation Association has played a significant role in preserving the historic infrastructure, with successful work on numerous projects within the Burkittsville Historic District such as the Harley’s Post Office and Store, and the Dr. J.E. Garrott House.

This farm played an important role during the Civil War as the farmhouse served as Union headquarters during the Battle of Crampton’s Gap in 1862. As thousands of soldiers of the Sixth Army Corps used the surrounding fields for camping and staging, it is said that Major General William B. Franklin used the bay window on the first floor to look out as his troops and observe battles. Due to this site’s elevated position, it proved to be a tactical advantage for General Franklin when planning his troops movements.

The Shafer farmhouse, barn, and surrounding out-buildings had previously sat vacant for more than 20 years, and as a result of deferred maintenance, had fallen into a state of disrepair. Through the support of the Heritage Fund, Burkittsville Preservation Association was able to replace damaged posts, beams, siding, and flooring in this historic barn, returning it to its former glory. This once dilapidated barn can now be used by BPA as an education facility and gathering point to educate visitors on the significance of the Shafer farm and its role during the Battle of South Mountain.

The future of Shafer Farm continues to look up as Burkittsville Preservation Association shifts its work to the remainder of the property. BPA recently received a $50,000 grant from Frederick County through its Rural Heritage Preservation Fund to restore the windows and shutters on the farmhouse.

“Preservation Maryland’s award of a grant from the Heritage Fund had a substantial impact to the preservation of the Shafer Barn on this historic property.  Recognition by a respected State wide preservation organization gives credence and credibility to the Shafer Farm preservation project well beyond the contribution of dollars.  The dollars granted to the Burkittsville Preservation Association (BPA) were allocated for the restoration of the interior of the barn and painting the exterior.  The effect on the community is a visible representation of the effort to preserve this historic property.  The effort draws in the community to the value of preservation of a very familiar physical part of the community and its history.” – Paul Gilligan, Burkittsville Preservation Association



Cylburn Arboretum, Cylburn Arboretum Friend (CAF)

Cylburn Arboretum, also known as Cylburn House and Park, is a historic district located in the northwest Baltimore neighborhood of Cylburn. It is a sprawling 200-acre city park that contains the historic Cylburn Mansion, hundreds of native plantings and trees, multiple gardens, and wooden trails.

In 2021, Cylburn Arboretum Friends (CAF), a non-profit group that supports the Cylburn Arboretum, received a Heritage Fund grant to rehabilitate the four lion statues surrounding the Cylburn mansion at the heart of the park.

The city officially founded the Cylburn Wildflower Preserve and Garden in 1954, which helped to preserve the existing grounds around the site and to educate the public about the native plantings and landscape. Cylburn has had a long history as a science education center, and it continues to do so with the newly developed Nature Education Center Campaign.



Fairmount Academy, Somerset County Historical Trust/Fairmount Academy Historical Association

At the end of 2021, The Fairmount Academy Historical Association set the replacement of the roofs of both the Knights of Pythias building and the Academy buildings as its most pressing and primary goal.  The structural integrity of the buildings had been the highest priority of the Association, and both roofs were in a sad state of disrepair.

As a result of the $10,000 grant from the Heritage Fund and additional fundraising and grants, the Association was able to raise the funds required for the replacements, and work was completed by the fall of 2022.  With the integrity of the roofs now secure, the Association can now move forward with the refurbishment of its Waterman’s Museum and possible other exhibits within the Knights of Pythias building.

“The Fairmount Academy Historical Association is grateful to Preservation Maryland for its continuing support as we work to revive these incredibly important historic buildings and grounds for use as a happy and functional community gathering place that allows us to educate as well as celebrate our common Somerset County and Eastern Shore heritage.”



The Heritage Fund, a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust, is now accepting applications. The Fund provides direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are all eligible for funding.

Preservation Maryland

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

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