Preserving, protecting, and promoting Montgomery County’s rich architectural heritage and historic landscapes.
Events Around Montgomery County
FREE! Real train spotting, toy train play set, permanent model train display, kid’s toy engine to ride, videos, including “Next Stop Silver Spring,” gift shop, refreshments. For all ages. Hosted by Montgomery Preservation and Silver Spring Historical SocietyMarch 2 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday evening, March 22, 6 to 8:30 pm at Seneca Lodge, a lovely Montgomery Parks facility on Clopper Road in Boyds. Join neighbors and public officials to celebrate individuals and groups who have made Montgomery County a better place in…March 22 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Inclement weather policy
In the event of inclement weather MPI’s open house programs follow the MCPS (Montgomery County public schools) closure notices for weekend and recreation programming.
MPI is proud to report completion of this wide-ranging, cutting-edge, urgent, amazing project.
Coordinator Glenn Wallace and project director Eileen McGuckian describe MCCI-R as a significant update of the Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory in terms of data, technology, and accessibility. During 2018, staff trained 90 volunteers to visit all known burial sites in Montgomery County. Project volunteers assessed conditions, completed survey forms, noted GPS coordinates, conducted additional research, and took a variety of photographs to capture the current environment. Staff converted all previous efforts into Excel spreadsheets, added new sites and ID numbers, provided FindaGrave links or created new entries, and utilized maps and other sources to garner additional data.
As a result of this project, solid new information is available on Montgomery County cemeteries. Each survey contains additional fields (ownership, safety concerns, designation status). New sites were added, some sites believed lost were found, and a few sites erroneously thought to be cemetery locations were removed from the list. Another result—bolstered by two local protection laws passed in 2017, effective in 2018—was more attention to and concern about local burial sites.
The Final Report, submitted in December 2018, includes Summaries and Statistics derived from MCCI-R project, Recommendations for Moving Forward and Next Steps, and multiple specific lists of sites: endangered sites to watch, to survey with GPS, in need of clean-up and improvements, African American sites, sites to revisit in winter and those pending further research.
In a session where major issues of gun control, school safety and funding, climate change and medical coverage captured the headlines, the General Assembly took time to protect Maryland’s history and sacred burial sites. The effort required 2 bold sponsors, a core group of resolute advocates, 5 House and Senate committees, and hundreds of emails and phone calls to pass the first burial sites legislation since the 1990s. Governor Larry Hogan signed HB877 and SB1242 on May 8, and the laws went into effect a month later.
While half of the changes proposed by the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites and allies did not survive in committees, the Coalition is happy to report that starting on June 1, 2018, descendants and caretakers gained easier access, owners are now required to consult with the Maryland Historical Trust about conservation treatment, and Maryland counties and towns are authorized to provide a property tax credit related to burial sites.
Appreciation goes to bill sponsors Delegate Tony Knotts of Prince George’s County and Senator Joan Carter Conway of Baltimore City, to the Maryland Association of Counties, David Zinner, Funeral Consumers Alliance, The War of 1812 Society in Maryland, and to all Marylanders who urged legislators to improve state law for the benefit of abandoned and neglected cemeteries.
The precise new wording in sections of the Annotated Code of Maryland can be found on www.cpmbs.org
Two ground-breaking laws passed by a unanimous County Council and a huge initiative led by MPI are boosting odds for the survival of all local burial sites. In October 2017, the Council tasked the Montgomery County Planning Board with management of an inventory of cemeteries in our county. The timing was perfect, as even before the effective date of February 9, 2018, MPI was prepared to begin the Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited project to document all known cemeteries here. Under the enthusiastic and steady hand of project coordinator Glenn Wallace, this initiative is right on schedule, with volunteers in the field as you read this. Learn about this project on the Historic Cemeteries page of this website.
The second new County law is designed to protect burial sites during any subdivision and development process. To be effective on July 1, 2018, a new full-time dedicated employee at Montgomery Planning must be included in the County’s FY19 Operating Budget.
Both of these laws will aid property owners, descendants, and advocates to identify all cemeteries in Montgomery County as well to enable their survival for the appreciation of current and future generations. MPI thanks the lead sponsors of these bills—Council members Berliner, Leventhal, and Rice—and all Council members who voted to protect local burial sites.
Advocates for local cemeteries can soon rest a bit easier because sites will be listed in an official inventory that covers the entire County, including municipalities with their own planning and zoning authority, and that all cemeteries will be protected during the subdivision and development process. This is a solid victory for all of our cemeteries — of whatever size and age, in neglected or good condition, of religious or family background, whether African American or White in origin, or whether currently in the news or quietly waiting in the background to be documented and rejuvenated.
Read more about Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited project.
More information will be added to this website as the project progresses.
Historic Preservation in Montgomery County
The first Saturdays of the month 10 am to 3 pm
Always FREE! Bring the whole family! Each month brings a new program. Visit this website again as details are posted.
Join us for train-watching, fun, and appreciation!
Upcoming Open Houses:
- March 2 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
The historic train station is a beloved historic landmark and a community resource. After a disastrous car accident that severely damaged the station’s main facade in 1997, MPI rescued the station and, with assistance from private and public sources, restored it to its 1945 appearance. Today this museum of 20th century rail history regularly welcomes visitors, meetings, celebrations, and the general public.
The station is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is designated on the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, and is protected by an easement held by the Maryland Historical Trust. Visit the Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station tab for more detailed information about station history, open houses, and rentals.
New to historic preservation or to how it works in Montgomery County? Visiting and learning about Montgomery County’s bountiful historic sites is a great way to start. Getting involved with any of the groups that share your interest in local historic places is the next step. Do you prefer Victorian homes, African American history, former schoolhouses, public buildings, Modernist architecture, rural cemeteries, or transportation history? Montgomery County has them all!
You can sample local history at Montgomery County Heritage Days, this year on June 23 and 24. Check out individual groups and historic sites on the RESOURCES section of this website. And please return here to follow the (future) link to help you get started in Historic Preservation in Montgomery County!