Project Activities & Related Initiatives: Beyond the Battle Bladensburg 1814

Project Activities & Related Initiatives:

 Rediscovering Historic Bladensburg: Peeling Back the Layers of the Town’s Streetscape and Waterfront. This project was begun in the fall of 2011 by a class of historic preservation students in the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Each student conducted historical deed research and created full chains of titles for historic locations in the town. They also conducted research in other primary sources: probate records, tax assessments, newspapers, maps, photographs, travelers’ accounts, etc.

 African Americans in Bladensburg’s History: Researching and Interpreting a Key Contribution to the Rich Story of Bladensburg’s Past, 1742 to 1950. This project funded by a grant from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA) seeks to conduct research and assemble narratives relating to the lives of African Americans in Bladensburg. The project began in spring 2012.

 Market Square Heritage Trail. Funded by a bond bill from the Maryland General Assembly and grants from ATHA, Prince George’s Heritage and the Aman Memorial Trust, this project focuses on key structures that survive from Bladensburg’s colonial past as the starting point for telling the history of the town. Research conducted for this project will inform interpretative signs, a walking tour, and a mobile application for smart phones. Research for this project by Aeon Preservation Services began in the spring of 2011.

 From Tavern to Honky Tonk: Exploring the Entertainment History of Bladensburg. This project examines the fascinating story of Bladensburg’s consistency over time as a place where people assembled for refreshment and entertainment. From George Washington’s recommendation of an African American tavern keeper, to the rise of Bladensburg as a center for early rock and roll, the story has both sinister and uplifting elements.

 The Environmental History of Bladensburg. Research sponsored in part by the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) will examine the impact of human interaction with the Anacostia River, looking specifically at the changes to the environment of Bladensburg over the past 300 years.
 History As Diorama: the Bladensburg Dioramas and the Bicentennial of 1976. An exhibit planned for the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library exhibit gallery will feature the historical dioramas of Bladensburg created during the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in the mid-1970s. The exhibit will explore how our understanding of Bladensburg’s physical features has evolved since 1976 and examine the concept of historical recreations. This exhibit is scheduled for the 2013-2014 academic year.
If you are interested in learning more about the Bladensburg History Project or participating in the research on historic Bladensburg, please contact the project director.

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