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When Washington Grove transitioned from a summer resort to an incorporated town, much of the rustic camp character of this special place carried on including their approach to handcrafting their street signs. Starting in 1937, citizens built, painted, installed, and maintained these iconic posts, including a new cohort of volunteers who recently worked with the Historic Preservation Commission and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service to make minor modifications to the original design to ensure that the town would not lose these iconic signs that provide a sense of direction and a sense of place. For their dedication to the details, Preservation Maryland presents Susan Van Nostrand and the thirty-three volunteers of the Washington Grove sign project with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.

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A native of Brunswick, Maryland in Frederick County, James Castle is a model citizen, dedicated volunteers, skilled historian, and stalwart preservationist…sometimes known as Brakeman Jim, while giving free tours to heritage tourists or local senior citizens. In 2015, James Castle became President of the Brunswick Potomac Foundation almost 20 years from the day he first started to volunteer for the organization. He has held the position ever since. In his tenure, Castle has led a note-worthy fundraising effort, supported the creation of a protective conservation district and the relocation of the historic WB Railroad Tower, and reinvigorated the organization’s online presence during Covid-19. Preservation Maryland is pleased to recognize Jim Castle with this year’s Preservation Maryland Best of Maryland Harrison Volunteer Award.

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Tagged In: History,

By Preservation Maryland

9/11 History in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Dedicated on September 11, 2011, the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland at Baltimore’s World Trade Center honors the extraordinary heroism, commitment, and sacrifice of Maryland’s 9/11 victims, rescuers, first responders, and their families.

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Given the illegal nature of its operations, sites of the Underground Railroad across the United States were often hidden and secret. That necessity now presents a challenge to preservationists dedicated to identifying, preserving, and interpreting these important histories where they happened. As part of our 2020 online Old Line State Summit offerings, Preservation Maryland brought together over 250 registrants and a panel of experts to discuss the topic.

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