HOLLYWOOD, MD On Monday afternoon, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) presented Preservation Maryland with a $200,000 Save Americas Treasures Grant he secured to restore Southern Marylands tobacco barns and ensure that these historic landmarks will be preserved for future generations.
For almost four centuries, Southern Maryland its people, its culture, and its rural character was defined by the cornerstone of its agricultural economy tobacco, Hoyer said. Due to the pressures associated with the regions rapid growth and the significant decline in cultivation, our tobacco barns are being lost at an alarming rate and without assistance many may not stand much longer.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named the tobacco barns of Southern Maryland to its 2004 list of Americas 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, further highlighting the need for federal action.
This grant will enable the tobacco barn restoration fund to assist property owners, nonprofits and local jurisdictions to take measures to maintain and restore many of Southern Marylands tobacco barns preserving the regions rural character and bolstering heritage tourism efforts along the way, Hoyer said.
Unlike most Save Americas Treasures Grants, which fund just one historic site, this grant will impact individual barns throughout the five counties of Southern Maryland. This is only the second time that Save Americas Treasures funding will be made available to individuals rather than solely to non-profit entities.
This latest action is in line with the shared responsibility we, as citizens, have to preserve our historic sites to ensure that our children and grandchildren may fully appreciate the history of this region and its people, concluded Hoyer.