The Aegis

DAR Historic Preservation Recognition Award given to Historical Society of Harford County

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At its second annual awards brunch this spring, the Governor William Paca Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented the DAR Historic Preservation Recognition Award to the Historical Society of Harford County.

The Historical Society has occupied the old post office on Main Street in Bel Air since 1994. The building contains a research center: a vast collection of artifacts, photos, books, manuscripts, clippings, court records, newspapers, textiles, family histories, archival material and other items of Harford County and Maryland history. These have been collected and carefully preserved over the years by dedicated volunteers.


The problem has been increasingly the condition of the building itself, according to Emily Andrews, publicity chairman for the DAR chapter.

“Many original architectural features were hidden or destroyed during previous post office renovations, and the building was in need of significant restoration, especially to the building’s lobby, postmaster’s office and post office box areas,” Andrews said.


Fundraising for restoring the lobby and a large grant from Harford County Government enabled the restoration project to begin in early 2020.

Although the building has been closed for two years, the Historical Society has continued with a schedule of online programs, presentations, newsletters and bulletins. The restoration is close to completion and plans are moving forward to create a museum of permanent and rotating exhibits in the lobby, Andrews said.

The award was given during Historic Preservation Month, which was in May. “Historic preservation is one of the cornerstones of the DAR’s mission,” Andrews said. “The Historical Society has performed an invaluable service to the Harford County community in its historic preservation, its outreach programs and its careful building restoration, and it deserves to be recognized for its efforts to preserve and share the history of Harford County.”

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization. The Governor William Paca Chapter, based in Bel Air, has over 90 members who carry out the DAR’s mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. Membership is open to any woman who can trace her lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War.

William Walden, president of the Historical Society of Harford County, is shown receiving the DAR Historic Preservation Award from Elizabeth Deering, vice-regent of the Maryland State Society, DAR.