Adaptive Reuse of the Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm

Just outside of Burkittsville, a well-preserved small historic community in western Frederick County, lies the Shafer Farm, the site of a Union headquarters during the Civil War Battle of South Mountain in 1862. The farm house, barn, and out buildings have been vacant for nearly 20 years and have suffered as a result of deferred maintenance. With Preservation Maryland’s assistance, the long term goal for the Shafer property to act as a heritage tourism anchor may finally be achievable.


Partner: Burkittsville Preservation Association

The Problem

Just outside of Burkittsville, a well-preserved small historic community in western Frederick County, lies the Shafer Farm, the site of a Union headquarters during the Civil War Battle of South Mountain in 1862. The farm house, barn, and out buildings have been vacant for nearly 20 years and have suffered as a result of deferred maintenance. Without immediate attention, this witness to Civil War could be lost forever.

The Fix

With Preservation Maryland’s assistance, the long term goal for the Shafer property to act as a heritage tourism anchor may finally be achievable. We will provide technical assistance to the newly formed Burkittsville Preservation Association to stabilize the structure, develop a long-term, sustainable use and care strategy for the property, and  also assist with grant-writing, fundraising and public awareness.

Updates

NOVEMBER 2020

As a part of Preservation Maryland’s Battlefield Preservation Campaign, the organization selected a consultant to lead a re-branding effort for the battlefield, one of the key recommendations, to visually define the area and confusing terrain as a historic battlefield and to help orient visitors and create a seamless visitor experience.

Out of dozens of interested consultants, Communication Design Inc., a design firm based out of Richmond, Virginia, with extensive experience in heritage and preservation and which also branded Civil War Trails, was selected to lead the effort on behalf of Preservation Maryland in close coordination with key stakeholders, including the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and local and state organizations.

LEARN MORE

OCTOBER 2019

With funding from the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service, the Delaplaine Foundation, and the Tourism Council of Frederick County, Preservation Maryland contracted with Hanbury Preservation Consulting and the William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research to develop a consensus-building plan for the South Mountain battlefield. The project involved collection of detailed GIS mapping data and the preparation of an in-depth report. The Public Consensus Building Plan for the South Mountain Battlefield is the first in-depth study of the preservation status of the critical battlefield in a generation.

ACCESS REPORT

October 2019

Preservation Maryland has been working in support of a preservation solution for the historic Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm in Burkittsville, Maryland since the organization announced a Six-to-Fix partnership with the Burkittsville Preservation Association in 2016. As part of this partnership, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has been conducting important archaeology at the site and will open up the dig to the public this weekend.

WORKDAY PHOTOS

See More Updates

Save History Today

The Six-to-Fix program allows Preservation Maryland to take direct action to fulfill its mission to protect the best of Maryland. Your donation helps provide technical assistance through Preservation Maryland staff and preservation experts to threatened and underutilized historic places – your donation has a direct impact on saving Maryland architecture and history.

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You can help. Six-to-Fix rallies the Maryland preservation community around discrete and necessary tasks and projects to advance each project. Folks with all skills and interests are encouraged to sign-up. You will receive periodic announcements with opportunities to participate, and we hope you can join us to save history together.

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