Dorchester County earns national preservation honor

January 16, 2004

Dorchester County was selected yesterday as one of the first eight communities in the nation to be recognized by Preserve America, a program aimed at assisting historic preservation and supported by first lady Laura Bush.

The tourism office of the rural Eastern Shore county drew notice for a program outlining African-American history and for developing driving and walking tours that trace the life and work of Harriet Tubman. The former slave, who was born on a farm near Cambridge, helped steer more than 300 slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad in Dorchester County.

The county, which has been designated as a state heritage area, also was recognized for tourism programs designed to preserve Native American heritage, the culture of working waterfront towns and agricultural traditions.

The announcement was made during a ceremony at the White House at which the first lady said President Bush's proposed 2005 budget would include $10 million in grants to assist communities in preserving cultural and natural resources. Among other recipients were Augusta, Ga., Key West, Fla., Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Delaware, Ohio.

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