May Is Preservation Month!

by Secretary David R. Craig, Maryland Department of Planning

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During Preservation Month 2015, let us come together to celebrate Maryland’s extraordinary and diverse heritage. Explore your own historic community through events sponsored by your local historical society, preservation organization or Heritage Area. Learn about your family history. Take a road trip down a Scenic Byway to visit one of our beautiful Main Streets or cultural museums. Share your photos, your impressions and your memories with friends and family.

Part of the Department of Planning, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) helps individuals, businesses and communities save the historic places that make our state special. Using state and federal rehabilitation tax credits, we provide millions of dollars each year to businesses and residents to help repair and rehabilitate their historic properties.

A group of monuments and a line of cannon are framed by a split rail fence at Antietam Battlefield at Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA.

Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, staffed by MHT, allocates nearly $3 million to heritage tourism projects around the state annually. In partnership with the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, we support $1 million in capital projects connected to our state’s African American history. We also respond to hundreds of requests for assistance each year from towns, counties, organizations and individuals – with the sole purpose of helping to connect Marylanders to their past.

Secretary Craig's home  was one of 17 stops on the 42nd Annual Candlelight Tour of Havre de Grace.

Secretary Craig’s home  was one of 17 stops on the 42nd Annual Candlelight Tour of Havre de Grace.

I first became interested in history in 1958 when my parents took us out to the Antietam battlefield where my great-grandfather fought during the Civil War. Not long after that it was a visit to Mount Vernon to go to George Washington’s home that led me to obtain a college degree in history and then teaching it.

As a tenth generation Marylander it interested me in researching my own family history (only seventh generation on the new side) and then buying and restoring a Greek Revival home in Havre de Grace. Ultimately it pushed me to write a history book.

Please join me this May in exploring our great state’s history and the places where history happened.

In addition to serving as Secretary of Planning for Maryland, David R. Craig has a distinguished record of public service, including serving as Harford County Executive and in the Maryland House of Delegates and State Senate, on numerous committees, boards and commissions, including the Maryland Civil War Heritage Commission.  He resides in Harford County.

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