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Findings of historical, cultural research project on Union Mills Homestead to be presented Jan. 26

The Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. will present the findings of a major research project conducted by Elizabeth Anderson Comer/Archaeology, Inc. at a special program open to the public and online, according to a Union Mills Homestead news release.

The program, “Tell Us How You Lived: Unearthing Union Mills’ History,” is being hosted by the Carroll County Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. It involves a study of historic and cultural resources at the Union Mills Homestead with a focus on the Shriver Tannery where animal hides were made into leather, according to the release.

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Moderator Elizabeth Anderson Comer and her team will present the results of their multi-year study. The team’s work has involved extensive research including use of a variety of archaeological and architectural methodologies, according to the release.

These reports provide a critical appraisal of the integrity, context, and significance of the Union Mills Homestead as an industrial and residential assemblage, which it finds to be outstanding in Maryland in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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The findings of this project include that the Union Mills Homestead is “uniquely associated with several nationally significant historical patterns and developments.” These findings, according to the release, will guide future site interpretation and planning, as well as follow phases of archaeological investigation to potentially support the nomination of the Union Mills Homestead as a National Historic Landmark.

The team reviewed pertinent historical context information, prepared architectural descriptions of the site’s standing buildings, assessed other structures that no longer exist, and prepared a statement of significance that encapsulates the site’s historical and cultural importance to prepare two reports on their findings.

“There are few places one can visit where the discovery process utilizing archaeology, architectural history, landscape analysis, material culture, oral history, and documentary sources is equally spectacular,” Comer said. “Union Mills is such a place.”

The public programming was made possible by a Heritage Project Grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, according to the release. The project was based on recommendations in a Museum Assessment Program report issued in 2017 after an assessment sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums, an initiative of the Union Mills Homestead’s Board of Governors.

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“We are so pleased to have taken recommendations made in our 2017 Museum Assessment Program report and turn them into action,” President of the Union Mills Homestead Foundation’s Board of Governors Samuel M. Riley said. “We are particularly pleased with the extraordinary work by the investigative team in preparing the reports being presented this month.”

People are encouraged to contact Riley at 410-296-8350 or email info@unionmills.org with any questions.

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