Interactive Map of County-Designated African American Historic Sites and Districts Launched to Honor Black History
February 23, 2016
Online map produced by Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks and initiated by County Councilmember George Leventhal, shows historically designated sites, parks, trails and buildings that commemorate African American heritage.
Silver Spring, MD – In honor of African American heritage in Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Planning Department, in coordination with Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, have launched a map of historically African American places included in the County’s formal register of architecturally or culturally significant buildings and places. This project was initiated at the request of Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal to mark the 2016 celebration of Black History Month.
“The goal of this online resource is to raise awareness about the rich and storied past of the County’s historic African American communities and buildings,” says Councilmember Leventhal. “It is my hope that this tool will encourage our community to learn more about the County’s African American history in an accessible, easy and interesting way. Thanks to former Councilmember Cherri Branson, who now serves as the director of the County’s Office of Procurement, for proposing to create this resource and the Planning Board and Parks and Planning Departments staff for working with us to make this map a reality for our residents.”
24 historical African American sites mapped initially
This map currently presents only a small sampling of African American history in the County. The project uses GIS technology to present information about two dozen buildings and places representative of the history of African Americans in Montgomery County. All of these sites have been added to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation by the County Council. Several are managed by Montgomery Parks as part of historical resources or public museums.
The Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation lists historically and architecturally significant resources protected by the County’s historic preservation ordinance. For more information about the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, go to https://www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic/research.shtm.
More information about Department of Parks cultural resources is available at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/Cultural_Resources_Stewardship/index.shtm.
Each historic site on the map includes a photograph, a text summary and web site links to foster appreciation of the resource’s historic significance.
The list of places included in the map is not exhaustive. The project was designed so that the map could be expanded over time to include the location of additional culturally significant African American communities and sites within the County. Councilmember Leventhal will continue to work with residents to identify those places that hold special value and help tell the rich and varied history of the African American experience in Montgomery County. Through this community-driven process, the content of the map can be enhanced over time to present a larger historical narrative.
“We are pleased to partner with Councilmember Leventhal on this project,” says Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “Our Historic Preservation Office, along with our GIS team and the Department of Parks Cultural Resources Stewardship section, have worked hard to begin developing an historically accurate and visually appealing resource in the hopes that the information will make an impact on Montgomery County residents and visitors.”
List of historic sites on map
The following historically designated sites in Montgomery County are featured on the online map:
- Elijah Church Cemetery, Poolesville
- Howard Chapel and Cemetery, Laytonsville
- Boyds Historic District, Boyds
- Hawkins Lane Historic District, Chevy Chase
- Good Hope Methodist-Episcopal Church and Cemetery, Silver Spring
- Warren Methodist and Martinsburg Negro School, Martinsburg
- Norbeck Rosenwald School, Rockville
- Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, Olney
- Zion School, Brookeville
- Odd Fellows Lodge, Sandy Spring
- Gibson Grove AME Zion Church, Bethesda
- Poplar Grove Baptist Church, Darnestown
- Pleasant View Church and School, Gaithersburg
- Black and White Inn, Gaithersburg
- Sarah Posey House, Gaithersburg
- Scotland AME Zion Church, Potomac
- Button Farm Living History Center, Germantown
- Sharp Street Church, Sandy Spring
- Smithville Colored School, Silver Spring
- Tobytown Cemetery, Potomac
- Josiah Henson Park, Bethesda
- Underground Railroad Experience Trail, Sandy Spring
- Thomas Harper Cabin Brookside Nature Center, Wheaton
- Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery, Sandy Spring
For questions or comments about the online map, email Councilmember.Leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov or call 240-777-7811.
About the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office
The Historic Preservation Office supports the Planning Board and the Historic Preservation Commission by providing for the identification, designation, and regulation of historic sites in Montgomery County. Historic Preservation staff also maintains an archive and library of documentation on historic resources in Montgomery County and provides preservation outreach and guidance on preservation best practices to the public.
If you are interested in historic buildings, sites, and programs in Montgomery County Parks, please visit Montgomery Parks.
Review the Places from the Past book produced by the Montgomery County Planning Department Historic Preservation Office which inventories designated historic sites and districts in the County.
Learn more about research and designation by the Historic Preservation Office.