PRINCE FREDERICK, MD - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) joined the Calvert Historical Society and local officials to announce the award of $250,000 he secured for the Linden Restoration Project in Calvert County. This funding was included at Congressman Hoyer's request in the federal Omnibus Appropriations Act passed by the Congress last year.
Linden is the last urban farmstead on the western shore and the only house of its period in Calvert County. This funding will be used to restore the interior of Linden's main house in order to complete its use as a full Community Heritage Center, providing an opportunity to learn about Calvert's cultural heritage. Congressman Hoyer released the following statement at the event.
"Linden has been home to three politically, economically, and socially situated Maryland families who served our great state in many ways, for many years. It is the last urban farmstead on the western shore and the only house of its period in Calvert County. Preserving and restoring linden provides us the perfect opportunity to teach future generations about our area's agrarian heritage.
"Linden was home to several prominent Maryland families. The house was built in 1869 by Henry Williams, a lawyer who later headed the Weems Steamboat line. Daniel MacGruder, Chief Justice of Calvert County and Maryland's youngest judge, lived there until 1881. John B. Gray, Sr., a founding member of the Maryland State Bar Association, and his family called Linden home for more than a century before selling it to their church, St. Paul's Episcopal.
"Linden has been vacant since 1988. The parish did not have the financial resources to maintain the building and the property has been badly neglected for years. The Calvert County Historical Society had the vision and desire to preserve and restore Linden. They eventually convinced the county to buy the land in 1997.
"Since that time, the Historical Society has turned this in to a true community partnership project. The society raised funds and constructed a new archives wing to house their collections. In partnership with the county, a Maryland Community Legacy Grant was awarded to restore the exterior.
"The garden club donated vegetables for the garden and other members of the community have performed in-kind services. However, lack of funding prevented the final phase to restore the interior from moving forward and federal funds were needed.
"I am happy to present this check for $250,000 to the Calvert Historical Society for this preservation project. Restoring the interior of the main house will offer guests an opportunity to step back in time and relive a culture that shaped the history of our state and those who took an active part in it.
"Upon completion, Linden will serve as a complete Community Heritage Center. The Society will operate a Cultural Center which will provide the public with historical research, promote heritage and tourism, as well as collect and disseminate information that enables us to define and enhance our local identity.
"Over the past century, almost every aspect of the rural landscape has changed. As population and development pressures increase, our communities must continue to adapt to the changing times. I am pleased to be here today and present funding for a project that will hopefully aid our understanding of and appreciation for our past as a way to inspire our future."