Frederick County Government & Partners Undertaking “Recovering Identity” Project to Capture History of African-American Community

seal of Frederick County MarylandThe African American Resources, Cultural Heritage Society (AARCH) and Frederick County Government are embarking upon the preparation of the first countywide African American Historic Context Statement and Cultural Resource Survey. This project will be completed in several phases as grant funding becomes available.  The first phase of this project has been awarded $50,000 through the Maryland Historical Trust’s Non-Capital Grant program.

The project is current in Phase 1, “Recovering Identity: Northern Frederick County Cultural Resource Survey.” In this phase of the cultural resource project, the partnership will identity and record extant structures and cultural landscapes associated with African Americans north of Lewistown, east of the Washington County border, west of the Monocacy River, and south of the Pennsylvania border. Beginning with the preparation of a comprehensive historic context statement, the grant will fund architectural survey, inventory, and recordation of previously undocumented African American buildings and landscapes resulting in the preparation of 15 new Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) forms and updating of existing forms.

A team of historians, architectural historians, and emerging professionals will be completing this project over the next year in close collaboration with the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc., AARCH, and Frederick County government. The Historic Context Statement developed for this region of the County will establish a framework for the evaluation of significant architectural, historical, and cultural resources and can be used as the basis for additional historic resource surveys in the future.

The partnership is actively seeking information from the public about homes, businesses, and landscapes associated with African American residents from the 1700s to the 1960s in Frederick County.

There are several ways to participate:

  1. Attend a community outreach forum
  2. Submit a Public Information Form 
  3. Contact the County directly to share information: Historic Preservation Planner – Amanda Whitmore, at or 301-600-1147

Visit the project website for additional information and ways to participate.

Other counties who are interested in undertaking similar projects are encouraged to reach out to the Maryland Historic Trust about funding opportunities.