Two Historic Preservation Awards Bestowed in St. Mary's - Southern Maryland Headline News

Two Historic Preservation Awards Bestowed in St. Mary's


Leonardtown, Md. (Oct. 27, 2009)—Two awards for Outstanding Historic Preservation efforts were presented at today's Board of County Commissioners meeting by the Commissioners and the members of the Historic Preservation Commission. The recognized projects were a waterwheel at Cecil's Mill in Great Mills and a chapel building in Leonardtown.

The first Preservation Project Award was presented to J. Allan Cecil II, J. Allan Cecil III and Matthew Cecil for their restoration efforts of the waterwheel at Cecil's Old Mill. Cecil's Mill is the last mill operated by a double waterwheel still standing in the state of Maryland. The Cecil family began restoration of the 1870's waterwheel in the mid 1990's. The family continues to undertake efforts to preserve the water wheel and often operates the wheel as an educational experience.

St. Peter's Chapel was built in 1870 as an Episcopal Church. Phillip Dorsey III purchased the property from the Episcopal Diocese in 1987 and moved his law office into the Social Hall. He worked with a Master in Historical Preservation to renovate the structure and saved the majority of the original building materials while preserving the integrity and technical excellence of the original builders in 2008.

These two awards are in addition to an award presented to the Maryland Province Jesuits, Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in September for electing to sell land in St. Mary's County to the state of Maryland for public benefit. This acquisition will provide citizens the opportunity to protect substantial acreage of ecologically important and culturally significant land.

This is the tenth annual award program for the St. Mary's County Historic Preservation Commission. Established in the spring of 1999, these awards recognize outstanding achievement and excellence in the field of historic preservation in St. Mary's County. The Historic Preservation Commission was established in 1975 and is comprised of seven members appointed for three-year terms by the County Commissioners.

The mission of the Historic Preservation Commission is to safeguard the heritage of the county by advocating for the preservation of sites, structures, or districts which reflect the elements of its cultural, social, economic, political, archaeological, and architectural history; to stabilize and improve property values of such sites, structures and districts; to foster civic beauty; to strengthen the local economy; to promote the preservation and appreciation of the sites, structures and districts for the welfare and education of the citizens of the county.

Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the Department of Land Use and Growth Management Conference Room of the Patuxent Building (23150 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown). November & December meetings are held on the third Thursday.

Source: St. Mary's County Government

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