WESTMINSTER — A $20,000 matching grant from the Maryland Historic Trust will enable Carroll to finish a comprehensive historic survey of the county begun in 1984.
The trust recently approved $84,000 in financing of five matching grants for survey and planning projects around the state.
The Carroll grant will be used to complete the third phase of thecounty's comprehensive historic survey.
Information gathered fromthe survey will be entered into a database and used with the county's computerized mapping system for quick location and identification of historic sites.
"We in the county don't have the information readily available to us," said Marlene Conaway, assistant county planning director. "But once you do know about these historic sites, you should be able to take care of them."
The county began its comprehensive historic survey in 1984 with a trust grant of $15,500. Joe Getty,now director of the Carroll County Historical Society, started the survey under contract with the county.
During the first two phases,1,147 historic sites in the southern and central areas of the countywere identified, Conaway said. Sites include St. John's Leister's Lutheran Church in Westminster and a barn on Route 27 near Taylorsvillethat advertises Mail Pouch Tobacco. The county also has two historicdistricts -- Uniontown and Linwood.
"We're hiring a professional historic site surveyor with this grant money for the third phase of the project," Conaway said. "We still have Taneytown, Manchester, Hampstead and Lineboro to do, primarily the areas outside the town, because the towns do their own survey."
The project surveyor visits anystructure, object or known archaeological site, usually over 50 years old, that may have historical significance.
The surveyor examines the building's structure and architecture, takes photographs and gathers background information by talking to people familiar with the site, Conaway said. The site location also is noted on a U.S. Geological Survey map.
"Having the written and photographic history gives us the information we need so that if something happens to the site we'll know what was there," Conaway said. "Sometimes, when people findout a site is historic, it changes their ideas toward protecting it."
Identifying historic sites through the survey could help the county preserve them from possible destruction.
"Sometimes we don't know what is valuable," Conaway noted.
Federal money for the surveyand planning projects are made available to the states under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which requiredeach state to establish a historic preservation office, said Marcia M. Miller, administrator of architectural research at the Maryland Historic Trust.
"In Carroll County, we were real happy to be able tohelp them finish up their survey," Miller said, adding that the surveys are more for identification and evaluation than actual preservation.
"The surveys are more a means of preservation rather than an end," Miller said.