At play at Historic Sotterley, MD.

Nine New Heritage Fund Grants Support Cultural Groups’ Work During Coronavirus

05/29/2020
By Jessica Feldt

For over 20 years, the Heritage Fund grant program has provided vital funds for preservation projects across the state – it is a stable source of funding needed by Maryland’s cultural organizations now more than ever. This most recent round, awarded in the midst of a global pandemic and civic unrest, will grant nearly $50,000 for needed repairs, research, and project planning in communities large and small – all stewards of authentic Maryland history.

Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust are pleased to award the following Heritage Fund grants to deserving projects:

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Parson’s Island, Chesapeake Bay, MD. Photo by Darrin Lowrey, 2019.

Documentation on Parson’s Island IN THE CHESAPEAKE

Organization: Chesapeake Bay Watershed Archaeological Foundation
Project Type: Education and Research
Project Name: Parson’s Island Survey and Threatened Site Evaluations
Location: Parsons Island, Queen Anne’s County

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Archaeological Foundation is assessing the archeological and architectural assets of Parsons Island nearby Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The $3,000 Heritage Fund grant will support an evaluation of the Island’s historic structures that may date back to the early colonization of the Chesapeake Bay. This is one part of a larger project in the works by the Foundation, totaling $81,000, which will also explore pre-historic settlements on Parsons Island – providing a new understanding of the Island’s place in Maryland history.


Documentation team at WB Tower, Brunswick, November 2019.

Documentation team at WB Tower, Brunswick, November 2019.

Saving AND SHARING RAILROAD HISTORY IN BRUNSWICK

Organization: City of Brunswick
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Moving the WB Tower
Location: Brunswick, Frederick County

The WB Tower along the tracks in the City of Brunswick was originally built in 1910 and was the last tower in operation on the line when it closed in 2011. It now needs a new location and the City of Brunswick is seeking to move it across the tracks to a location where it can be preserved and interpreted. The Heritage Fund grant of $8,000 will contribute towards the total project budget of $21,200. Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland have been actively working on a conservation district in Brunswick through the organization’s Six-to-Fix program.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRUNSWICK HISTORY


Photo of Charity, beloved canine statue, Frederick, MD.

Photo of Charity, beloved canine statue, Frederick, MD.

RESTORING A WITNESS TO FREDERICK HISTORY

Organization: Federated Charities Corporation of Frederick
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Restoration of Metal “Charity” Statue
Location: Frederick, Frederick County

Since 1858, a likeness of a canine named Charity outside of the Federated Charities Corporation of Frederick has stood witness to the passing of time and history, including as Civil War soldiers marched through Frederick. The metal statue is in need of urgent repairs to the base and bottom, paws and legs, to keep Charity standing. The $3,000 Heritage Fund grant will support a restoration project totaling just over $14,000, to provide a complete conditions analysis and the needed restoration work.


SOTTERLEY’S SPINNING COTTAGE

PROTECTING Sotterley’s Spinning Cottage

Organization: Historic Sotterley
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Sotterley’s Spinning Cottage Roof Replacement
Location: Hollywood, St. Mary’s County

Historic Sotterley, a National Historic Landmark and UNESCO Slave Route Site of Remembrance, is a campus of historic structures spanning over 200 years of history. The Spinning Cottage was built in the 1930s to hold a collection of spinning wheels before becoming a guest cottage then a gift shop – before the pandemic, it was in high-use as a multi-use space for activities and meetings. This $8,200 award from the Heritage Fund towards the $11,000 project will help replace the deteriorating roof, protecting the structure and fixing persistent structural issues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sotterley has maintained public access to its historic grounds and gardens.


Digitally colorized image of suffragists. Original image from the Library of Congress.

Digitally colorized image of suffragists. Original image from the Library of Congress.

Telling the Stories of Maryland’s Suffragists

Organization: Maryland Women’s Heritage Center
Type: Education and Research
Project Name: Maryland Women’s Heritage Center Suffrage Project
Location: Online

The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center has long worked to tell the stories of Maryland women, including through their Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame and other public programming. During the 100th Anniversary year of the 19th Amendment, the Heritage Center has been actively involved in research and commemorations to highlight Maryland’s suffragists. This $3,000 grant from the Heritage Fund will help the group continue their work even as in-person education and outreach is suspended during COVID-19, specifically the grant will support the research, writing, editing, and audio recording of over a dozen short place-based biographies of Maryland’s suffragists and other influential Maryland women. The stories will be shared widely through the Ballot & Beyond podcast and website, a public history project powered by Preservation Maryland and supported by Gallagher Evelius and Jones.

Visit the Ballot & Beyond Website


Ground penetrating radar at Shrewsbury Cemtery.

Ground penetrating radar at Shrewsbury Cemtery.

Researching and Interpreting Shrewsbury Cemetery on the Eastern Shore

Organization: Shrewsbury Parish and Cemetery
Type: Education and Research
Project Name: The Old Shrewsbury Parish Cemetery Interpretation Project
Location: Kennedyville, Kent County

Shrewsbury Cemetery is sacred ground with gravestones that date back to the early 18th-century – it is the final resting place of veterans from every U.S. conflict. This Heritage Fund grant will support research to identify all grave locations, biographical information on those interred, and strategize ways to provide public access to that information. The grant award of $5,000 will contribute to an overall project budget of $11,500. Preservation Maryland has been an active advocate of cemeteries in Maryland and has twice in recent years supported large-scale cemetery conservation efforts through our Six-to-Fix program and recently completed a review of 100 cemeteries in partnership with the State Highway Administration.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CEMETERY WORK


Parsonage at St. Luke's in Baltimore City, MD.

Parsonage at St. Luke’s in Baltimore City, MD.

Exploring New Uses for Historic St. Luke’s Church

Organization: St. Luke’s Youth Center
Type: Planning and Feasibility
Project Name: Concept Plan for Reuse of Historic St. Luke’s Church and Clergy House
Location: Baltimore City

The mid-19th-Century St. Luke’s Church was once a large and active Episcopal Church in Baltimore City, Maryland but it’s facilities, specifically, the connected ca. 1910 Clergy House has been unused for the past decade. To explore new and relevant uses for the historic structures the congregation and the community came together over a series of charrettes in recent years. The $5,000 Heritage Fund grant will support part of the $11,000 project to conduct an essential condition assessment as well as a feasibility study that will guide future decisions about reuse and rehabilitation options. St. Luke’s Youth Center has already been operating out of the Church structure and will likely continue to use the space to support a variety of social needs in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Luke’s has been using their social media channels to keep their network informed about available resources.


Old Customs House in Vienna, Maryland on the Nanticoke River.

Old Customs House in Vienna, Maryland on the Nanticoke River.

Restoring the Customs House at Vienna

Organization: Town of Vienna
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Restoration of Vienna Customs House
Location: Vienna, Dorchester County

The Town of Vienna was first explored by Captain John Smith in 1608 and is one of the oldest colonial settlements in Maryland. Along the Nanticoke River, the town has a waterfront park, heritage museums, and the ca. 1768 Customs House – all tangible links to the city’s importance as a vital port for ships entering the Chesapeake Bay. This Heritage Fund grant of $5,400 will help cover the $6,000 in estimated expenses for repairs to a variety of materials, masonry, clapboard, windows, and shutters, at the historic Custom’s House. The Town of Vienna is a Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network site as well as the John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and is committed to making the waterfront area an attractive area for outdoor heritage and eco-tourism during COVID-19 and into the future.


The ca. 1800 Saylor House in Hagerstown, MD. Photo from the Washington County Historical Trust.

The ca. 1800 Saylor House in Hagerstown, MD. Photo from the Washington County Historical Trust.

Saylor House Porch Restoration

Organization: Washington County Historical Trust
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Saylor House at Kiwanis Park: Restoration & Reuse Project
Location: Hagerstown, Washington County

The Saylor House in Hagerstown is an 1800 stone structure that played an important role in the Antietam Fish Company, one of America’s first documented fish conservation and stocking companies in the 1820s. Situated on the banks of the Antietam River in present-day Kiwanis Park, the Saylor House has potential as a venue for education classes on historic building trades, historic buildings of Washington County, archaeology, outdoor recreation, and numerous environmental education topics. In 2019, the Washington County Historical Trust hosted several hands-on preservation training workshops at the Saylor House. The workshops introduced volunteers to preservation techniques and also helped provide essential repair work at the structure with little cost to the organization. While the structure remains vacant during COVID-19, the Washington County Historical Trust was awarded $7,500 in support of on-site porch repairs as part of a larger phased $49,700 restoration project planned through 2025.

Learn more about the Saylor House Project

Apply to the Next Round: The next deadline to apply for a Heritage Fund grant is September 18, 2020.

Application Guidelines

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Support Preservation Maryland’s Grant-Making

Jessica Feldt · Preservation Initiatives Manager

Jessica Feldt manages our proactive preservation and grant-giving programs and is here to help you move your project on the path towards preservation.

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