Wood house and slave quarters, Cecil County, MD, 1936. Photo from Historic American Building Survey.

Preservation Maryland Receives National Grant to Laser Scan Structures Associated with the Underground Railroad

10/19/2020
By Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland received a $20,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the Bartus Trew Providence Grant program to bring a team of specialists from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, a program of the National Park Service, to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to conduct architectural scans of historic African American sites.

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Preservation Maryland is actively researching possible Underground Railroad, reverse Underground Railroad, and self-emancipation sites for architectural documentation, including cabins, churches, markets, jails, and other structures. The resulting laser scans and architectural drawings will bring the details of the physical legacy of slavery into sharper focus.

Jason Church of NCPTT with laser scanner at Magnolia Plantation, LA.

Nicholas Redding, Executive Director of Preservation Maryland explained, “As an organization, we are dedicated to telling the full story of Maryland history – especially the story of those who were wrongly subjected to the brutality of slavery. We are now taking advantage of all of the latest research and documentation tools at our disposal so that we can better understand and empathize with the harrowing and hopeful stories of the wrongfully enslaved.”

Research is also being done by the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism and the Maryland State Archives Legacy of Slavery Program through a federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act grant. The architectural documentation team from the Louisiana-based National Center for Preservation Training and Technology will come to Maryland in early 2021.

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