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Recovering Identity is a project to study African American history and sites in Frederick County. Phase I produced a context statement and surveyed African American sites in northern Frederick County. Phase II will focus on creating a county-wide historic context study of African American history, collecting oral histories of the African American experience, and building a crowd-sourcing website to locate specific sites throughout the County. The historic context study will be broken down into thematic studies of various aspects of African American history, culture and traditions. This work is possible due to a grant from the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) as part of the Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grant Program. 

Recovering Identity will provide critically needed research and become the foundation for long-term preservation planning surrounding African American historic resources within Frederick County. Phase II will guide subsequent phases of intensive surveying and documenting these resources. The project will also focus on developing preservation and interpretation strategies to tell a more complete historic narrative of Frederick County.

The project has just begun Phase II of the Recovering Identity Project in partnership with the Frederick County and the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society (AARCH Society). The first phase of this project resulted in the production of 15 Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) forms which were submitted to MHT. These may be downloaded and viewed below in portable document format (pdf):

African American History of the Monocacy-Catoctin Region, Northern Frederick County, Maryland Prepared by Edith B. Wallace, M.A. For the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, in partnership with African American Resource, Culture and Heritage (AARCH) and Frederick County Government


13501 Catoctin Hollow Road F-6-158, MIHP_Form

13620 [13630] Catoctin Hollow Road F-6-160, MIHP_Form

16330 Grotto Road F-6-24-1_MIHP_Form

16720 Annandale Road F-6-156_MIHP_Form

16731 Annandale Road F-6-157, MIHP_Form

16732A Annandale Road F-6-155_MIHP_Form

National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton F-6-20-1_MIHP_Form

400 block of West Lincoln Avenue F-6-102-3_National_Register_Form

413-439 W. Lincoln Avenue F-6-102-3_MIHP_Form

810 West Main Street F-6-102-2_MIHP_Form

812 West Main Street F-6-102-1_MIHP_Form

10513 Lenhart Road F-3-289_MIHP_Form

10918 Powell Road F-3-290_MIHP_Form

11024 Powell Road F-3-291_MIHP_Form

11027 Powell Road F-3-97 – Addendum_MIHP_Form

This video recording is the culmination of the three year “Recovering Identity” research project that rewrote the history and understanding of African American life and work in northern Frederick County, Maryland. The five presentations provide context, architecture, memory landscape, mapping and spatial data as well as complete family histories recovered. Funded by the Maryland Historical Trust, “Recovering Identity” team members included Livable Frederick Planning and Design, AARCH Society (African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society), and Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc.
Research Seminar Presentations:
Edie Wallace – Historic Context of African Americans in northern Frederick County
Rob Wanner – Mapping and Spatial Data
John Murphey – Architectural Resources
Elizabeth Comer – Memory Landscapes
Ben Fischler – Revealing African American North County Family Roots