Introducing Map-Based Medusa: Viewing Maryland’s Historic Places in Real Time

By Gregory Brown, Cultural Resource Information Manager

To kick off Preservation Month this May, the Maryland Historical Trust is pleased to announce a new interactive map-based tool, “map-based Medusa,” to explore the state’s inventory of historic places and archeological sites.  Taking advantage of new web-based mapping technology, map-based Medusa offers the opportunity to view Maryland’s extensive geographic database of historic and cultural properties and to access the records linked to these resources, all within an easily accessible user friendly interface.

Blog1The new system allows both in-house and remote access to the documentation of over 60,000 architectural and archeological resources in a variety of ways. Consultants and staff can view a proposed project area and see all known cultural resources, with links to Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties forms, National Register nominations, determinations of eligibility, and other detailed documents. Map-based Medusa also allows you to look up a property by name, address or inventory number, and view that property on a map along with associated forms and photos.

Most architectural information is freely available in Medusa. Archeological site location is restricted to qualified archeological professionals as mandated in the state’s Access to Site Location Policy. Any qualified professional can apply for a Medusa account to get access. For assistance using map-based Medusa, tutorials and FAQs are available online. We will introduce webinars and introductory videos in the coming months.

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The new map-based Medusa application was created with the technical assistance of the Applications Development team of the Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Historical Trust’s parent agency. We are grateful for the efforts of Information Services Manager Ted Cozmo, Doug Lyford, Greg Schuster, and Debbie Czerwinski, building on earlier database development work of Maureen Kavanagh, Carmen Swann and Jennifer Falkinburg. The online version of Medusa was supported in part through a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, and by funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration through its Transportation Enhancement Program.

To start using map-based Medusa, go to https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/.

For more information, please contact Gregory Brown, Cultural Resource Information Manager, at gregory.brown@maryland.gov.

Join Us at the Annual Field Session in Maryland Archeology

By Charlie Hall, State Terrestrial Archeologistbiggs1

You are cordially invited to join the archeology staff of the Maryland Historical Trust in the investigation of two overlapping Late Woodland Native American village sites along Glade Creek in Walkersville, Maryland.  Mark your calendar now:  the Field Session begins on Friday May 22nd and ends on Monday June 1st, including weekends and the Memorial Day holiday.  You may choose to attend for half a day, a whole day, or any combination up to the entire 11 days.  Pre-registration is available through the Archeological Society of Maryland (www.marylandarcheology.org, click on Field Session).  We hope to see you there!

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Guest Blog – Bells Across the Land: Remembering Appomattox

 

By Nick Redding, Executive Director, Preservation Maryland

Bells Across the LandOn April 9, 1865, after four years of combat, the Civil War came to a symbolic end in the tiny hamlet of Appomattox, Virginia when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The surrender at Appomattox signaled the end of the long, harsh conflict which ultimately claimed the lives of 750,000 individuals and led to the emancipation of the nearly 4.5 million enslaved African-Americans held in the southern states, including Maryland.

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Orlando Ridout V Field Survey Day

by Heather Barrett, Administrator of Research & Survey

Forgeman's House at Catoctin

Forgeman’s House at Catoctin

On October 9th, the Trust held its first Orlando Ridout V field survey day in honor of our friend, mentor, and cherished colleague.   It was a crisp fall day in the village of Catoctin in Frederick County, a kind of day Orlando would have enjoyed.   A large group of over 30 – past and present MHT staff members and our local guides – visited various historic buildings and sites throughout the district, including:  the 1774 Catoctin Furnace; several stone worker’s cottages; a slave cemetery undergoing archeological investigation; the ruins of the late eighteenth century Iron Master’s House; and, the grand ca. 1805 house of Baker Johnson, one of the furnace’s original owners.  Throughout the day, Elizabeth Comer, our tour guide and organizer, provided insight into the area’s rich history. Continue reading

In western Maryland, two African American cemeteries are witnesses to history

by Anne Raines, Capital Grants and Loans Program Administrator
Laboring Sons Memorial Ground

Laboring Sons Memorial Ground

Just up the hill from the main street of Sharpsburg is a modest one-room board and batten structure, neatly painted white and crowned by a small bell tower, standing watch over a small and well-tended cemetery.

About 20 miles away, in the center of the city of Frederick, a quiet acre serves as the final resting place of over 1,500 individuals, commemorated by a prominent granite marker.

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