Barnesville group to research local American Indian trails -- Gazette.Net


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A Barnesville organization is delving into the history of Montgomery County’s long-lost American Indian trails.

Sugarloaf Regional Trails, a nonprofit headed by President Peg Coleman, received a $625 grant Tuesday help get started on its research.

The organization focuses on the conservation of natural resources at Sugarloaf Mountain and the surrounding region. Coleman said its volunteers are hunting down a 1700s book by Marylander Thomas Cresap, who mapped out trails in the Montgomery County area.

“We’re hot on the trail of finding the maps,” she said.

Coleman said the group plans to trace out the trails and compare them with modern-day Montgomery County, but the exact locations of the trails are not yet known.

The grant was one of a batch of mini-grants awarded by the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County, also known as Heritage Montgomery. The nonprofit awards grants every year to groups that contribute to interpreting, promoting, preserving or researching the county’s history.

According Peggy Erickson, executive director of Heritage Montgomery in Germantown, about half of Sugarloaf Regional Trails’ $625 grant will go toward its event for Heritage Days, a two-day celebration of county history and culture. Coleman said the group plans to bring a banjo player who makes his own instruments out of gourds to its Heritage Days event.

Several other upcounty organizations also received small grants this week from Heritage Montgomery.

The King Barn Dairy Mooseum received $2,000 to build a model milk train for its Milk Transportation exhibit. The Mooseum educates visitors about dairy farming in Montgomery County and is housed in a barn in South Germantown Recreational Park.

The Montgomery Countryside Alliance in Poolesville received $1,000 for a short film project, “Growing Legacy,” about the county’s Agricultural Reserve. The alliance also is accepting donations through its website to help the film’s production.

The Warren Historic Site Committee in Dickerson received $625 to revise and reprint its site brochure, according to a news release from Heritage Montgomery.

Organizations are eligible for up to $2,500 in grant funding annually from Heritage Montgomery. The organization has awarded more than $142,000 in grants to organizations in Montgomery County over the past 10 years.

scarignan@gazette.net