New Historical Markers along Maryland’s Roads

Old Wallville School Marker Unveiling.
Photo courtesy of David Krankowski

 

The Maryland Historical Trust, State Highway Administration, and local partners have installed six new and two replacement historical markers along Maryland’s roadways, bringing the total number of markers to 822! The markers celebrate a broad scope of Maryland history, including a seventeenth century courthouse, the growth of a colonial port, a fine grade of slate quarried for over two centuries, a rare and early school for the education of African American students, early twentieth century advancements in electric rail transit and transportation, research and development of motor transport, and a legacy of conservation and enhancement of our public lands.
Read about each of the new markers below.

 

OLD WALLVILLE SCHOOL, CA. 1880-1934
Old Wallville School Marker: Guffrie Smith
(retired Supervisor of Instruction,
member of Friends–and many other roles),
Rose Crunkleton (Calvert County Board of Education),
William Phalen (Board of Education),
Jack Smith (Calvert County Superintendent of Schools),
Sherman Brown (cousin of Regina Brown),
Harry Wedewer (Friends of OWS),
Sen. Mike Miller, Del. Sue Kullen,
Wilson Parran (President, Board of Calvert
County Commissioners).
Photo courtesy of David Krankowski.

 

The Friends of the Old Wallville School, Inc., proposed a marker to commemorate the last remaining one-room schoolhouse dedicated to African American students in Calvert County.
Location: 1450 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick, Calvert County.
Text: OLDEST STANDING ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS IN CALVERT COUNTY. OFFERED EDUCATION FOR GRADES 1 – 7 IN THE WALLVILLE COMMUNITY. ILLUSTRATES THE SEGREGATED EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES OF THE LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURIES. MOVED IN 2006 TO CURRENT SITE FOR PRESERVATION AND RECONSTRUCTION.

W B & A ELECTRIC RAILROAD, 1908-1935

W B & A Electric Railroad.
Photo courtesy of Steve Hall, SHA
The Delmont Improvement Association, Inc., proposed a marker to commemorate the W B & A Electric Railroad and its profound effect on the growth of Anne Arundel County.

Where: WB&A Road at MD 174 (Donaldson Rd.), Severn, Anne Arundel County.

Text: WB&A ROAD WAS CONSTRUCTED ON THE RIGHT-OF-WAY OF THE MAIN LINE OF THE WASHINGTON, BALTIMORE & ANNAPOLIS ELECTRIC RAILROAD. USING THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY OF THE TIME, THE HIGH-SPEED LINE PROVIDED PASSENGER AND FREIGHT SERVICE BETWEEN BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON WITH TWO BRANCHES SERVING ANNAPOLIS. IT WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE OPENING OF CAMP MEADE AND TRANSPORTED TROOPS DURING WORLD WAR I.

COURTHOUSE AT MOORE’S LODGE

The Charles County Commissioners unveil the
Courthouse at Moore’s Lodge marker before
a small crowd of guests and onlookers.
Photo courtesy of Crystal N. Hunt,
Charles County Commissioners’ Office.
The Charles County Commissioners proposed a marker to commemorate the first courthouse in Charles County, the site of which was located by Dr. Julia King and her archeological team from St. Mary’s College.
Where: US 301 at Springhill Newtown Road, Springhill (south of La Plata), Charles County.
Text: CHARLES COUNTY WAS CREATED BY THE MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN 1658. IN 1674 THE FIRST CHARLES COUNTY COURTHOUSE WAS BUILT NEAR HERE, IN THE AREA KNOWN AS MOORE’S LODGE. A PRISON, ORDINARY (TAVERN), AND RACE TRACK ALSO WERE LOCATED THERE. IN 1727 THE COURTHOUSE WAS MOVED TO PORT TOBACCO AND THE ORIGINAL SITE REVERTED TO AGRICULTURAL USE AS PART OF THE PLANTATION CALLED GREENLAND. IN 1895 THE COUNTY SEAT WAS MOVED TO LA PLATA.

CAMP HOLABIRD

Camp Holabird Marker.
Photo courtesy of Steve Hall, SHA

Dundalk resident Cecil Boblitz, past recipient of a Maryland Historical Trust Preservation Service Award, proposed and provided documentation for the new marker commemorating Camp Holabird and also for the marker dedicated to the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Where: Dundalk Ave. and Holabird Ave., Dundalk, Baltimore County

Text: NAMED FOR QUARTERMASTER GENERAL SAMUEL B. HOLABIRD (1826-1907) AND ESTABLISHED IN 1917 AS THE ARMY’S FIRST MOTOR TRANSPORT TRAINING CENTER AND DEPOT. SUPPLIED WORLD WAR I AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN FRANCE WITH DETROIT-MADE VEHICLES. TRAINED THOUSANDS TO DRIVE AND REPAIR AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS. BY 1920 A CENTER FOR THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY VEHICLES. HERE THE JEEP, A WORLD WAR II ICON, WAS TESTED AND REFINED. HOUSED THE ARMY INTELLIGENCE SCHOOL FROM 1945 UNTIL CLOSURE IN 1972.

CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, 1933-1942

Civilian Conservation Corps Marker.
Photo courtesy of Steve Hall, SHA

Where: Swallow Falls State Park, Oakland vicinity, Garrett County

Text: A NATIONWIDE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT TO PERFORM EMERGENCY NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION WORK ON PUBLIC LANDS. THE CCC EMPLOYED MILLIONS DURING THE DEPRESSION AND SET THE STANDARDS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS AND FORESTS. THE CCC BUILT ROADS, TRAILS, BRIDGES AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES THAT ARE STILL IN USE THROUGHOUT MARYLAND STATE PARKS.

MARSHYHOPE CREEK BRIDGE

Marshyhope Creek Bridge,
photo courtesy of Nancy Kurtz, MHT

Janet Bacorn and the Federalsburg Historical Society proposed a marker for the Marshyhope Creek Bridge, dedicated as part of the town’s Heritage Festival.

Where: MD 315 (E. Central Ave.), southeast side of the bridge, Federalsburg, Caroline County

Marshyhope Creek Bridge Marker:
Back row, from left, Federalsburg Town
Council members Ed Windsor,
Eric Willis and Stephen Bollinger
and State Senator and Town Manager
Richard Colburn;
front row, National Register Coordinator
Nancy Kurtz, Federalsburg Historical Society
President Bart Johnson,
Bridge Sign Project Chair Janet Bacorn,
DelegateAddie Eckardt and
Main Street Manager “Happy” Mayer.

 

UNTIL IT WAS RENAMED FEDERALSBURG IN 1812, THE COMMUNITY TOOK ITS NAME FROM THE BRIDGE AT THIS CROSSING. THIS 215-FOOT CONCRETE STRUCTURE WAS BUILT IN 1910 BY THE LUTEN BRIDGE COMPANY OF YORK, PA, A FIRM NOTED FOR ITS FILLED SPANDREL ARCH DESIGN. IT WAS BUILT AS PART OF THE NEWLY-FORMED STATE ROADS COMMISSION’S PLAN TO IMPROVE THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. REPAIRED AND ALTERED AFTER THE FLOOD OF 1935.

PISCATAWAY

The Piscataway Preservation Corporation worked with MHT to replace and revise an early marker commemorating the town.

Where: 2105 Floral Park Rd., Piscataway, Prince George’s County. This marker replaces and updates a missing marker.

Text: NAMED FOR THE LOCAL INDIAN TRIBE. ESTABLISHED IN 1707 AS A PORT BY MARYLAND’S COLONIAL ASSEMBLY AND DESIGNATED A TOBACCO INSPECTION STATION IN 1747. WITH SILTATION OF PISCATAWAY CREEK IN THE 19TH CENTURY, THE TOBACCO INSPECTION POINT WAS TRANSFERRED DOWNSTREAM. THE VILLAGE CONTINUED TO SERVE AS A LOCAL COMMERCIAL CENTER INTO THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY, WITH TAVERNS, STORES, SCHOOLS, RESIDENCES, HOTEL, CHURCH AND TELEGRAPH/POST OFFICE.

PEACH BOTTOM SLATE REGION

The missing Peach Bottom Slate Region marker was replaced and the text updated with assistance from Ruth Anne and Donald Robinson of the Old Line Museum in Delta, PA, David Williams and Daniel Filippelli.

Where: MD 165 north of MD 136, Whiteford, Harford County

A RIDGE OF HIGH QUALITY SLATE RUNNING FROM SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA INTO HARFORD COUNTY, MARYLAND, WAS QUARRIED ON A LIMITED SCALE AS EARLY AS 1734. PRODUCTION INCREASED IN THE 1840S WHEN THE OPENING OF THE SUSQUEHANNA AND TIDEWATER CANAL OFFERED A LINK TO MARKETS, AND SKILLED SLATE WORKERS WERE RECRUITED FROM WALES. RAIL TRANSPORT REPLACED THE CANAL IN 1876. QUARRIES CONTINUED TO OPERATE INTO THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. PEACH BOTTOM SLATE WAS WIDELY RENOWNED FOR ROOFING.

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