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National Park Service - Heritage, Policy & Architecture News
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National Park Service Announces $500,000 in Grants to Support Diversity in the National Register of Historic Places
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: National Park Service

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service announced today $500,000 in grants to help fund 13 projects across the country to increase the number of listings associated with communities that are underrepresented on the National Register of Historic Places. 

“The National Park Service is working with states, tribes, and local governments to help more people connect with their history and explore America’s diverse stories,” Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds said. “These grants will fund projects that recognize and preserve places that will educate and inspire future generations of Americans.”

The grants are funded through the Historic Preservation Fund using revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. The fund provides assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.  

Projects supported by the grants include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites.  

Survey projects will identify underrepresented communities resources for future nominations in Native American, African American, women’s, Asian American, and Latino American history and culture in Alaska, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.  

Projects receiving an Underrepresented Communities grant include: 


Igiugig Villiage - $43,479 
The Igiugig Village Council is the federally recognized tribe and local governing body. The current population is 70 residents, but the village is nestled within an archaeological district of at least 21 identified sites—most of them villages; together demonstrating at least 4,000 years of continual occupation and use of the region. Only one site in the community, the Russian Orthodox Church built in 1925, is in the National Register of Historic Places. The primary objective of the project is to map, survey, and nominate “Old Igiugig” to the National Register of Historic Places. This will be accomplished through conducting research about Old Igiugig, as well as interviewing community members that are knowledgeable about the old village. 


State of Alaska Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation - $48,668
The “” Cannery is situated on the south side of the Naknek River, one of the five major rivers that constitute the Bristol Bay salmon fishery—Alaska’s largest and most sustainable commercial fishery. The Indigenous Alaskans who worked at the cannery were descendants of Katmai people and culturally connected to the Brooks River Area's Archeological District and National Historic Landmark at Katmai National Park and Preserve. Despite their skill and labor, Native American and Asian cannery workers existed in the shadows, ignored by writers, curators, even park rangers in the popular narratives of Alaska’s most important salmon fishery. Grant activities will include compiling the archival and primary research, and applying it towards the completion of a National Register nomination.  


Arizona Department of Parks - $42,760
The Arizona Department of Parks nomination project will increase public awareness of Tucson’s Spanish and Mexican American communities and their contributions to the American story, provide a case study for using new technology and volunteers for collecting data and completing nomination forms, and expand the national inventory of underrepresented communities listed as National Historic Landmarks. The Underrepresented Communities grant funds will support the survey, inventory, context study and statement of significance for a National Historic Landmark nomination for Tucson’s Spanish/Mexican/American Barrio Viejo. The Landmark will encompass the National Register listed Barrio Libre and areas of three adjacent National Register districts containing resources similar/identical to those in Barrio Libre.  


State of California - $41,872
The historic resources involved in the project are those resources that make up the missions that were built along the El Camino Real, the California Mission Trail. The community affected by this project is the Native Americans of California, specifically those groups that were involved with the California Mission system. The grant funds from this program will be used to increase the number of National Register nominations related to the California Mission System that include information about Native American contributions to and effects on the system. 


Pala Band of Mission Indians - $48,295
The Pala Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized Native American Tribe that occupies a 12,273-acre reservation in northern San Diego County, California. The Pala Reservation is home to a majority of the Band’s enrolled membership, which consists of Cupeños (Kuupangaxwichem) and Luiseños (‘Atáaxum). The grant funds will assist the Pala Band of Mission Indians in nominating the Blacktooth House and updating the Chokla component of the project on the National Register of Historic Places.   


Maryland Department of Planning/Maryland Historical Trust - $30,500 
As the nation approaches the 100th anniversary of women’s universal suffrage in the United States, the State of Maryland will use grant funds to document and celebrate sites state-wide that are associated with the civil rights movement for women. The primary objectives of the project are to recognize and protect properties located within Maryland that are associated with the women’s suffrage movement of the late nineteenth through early twentieth centuries. The project will result in: 1) the creation of 1-2 new individual National Register forms, 2) updates to five existing National Register historic districts, 3) updates to 5 individual National Register forms, 4) the creation of 5-7 Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) forms and, 5) Addendums to 10-12 existing MIHP forms. Resources in the following Maryland counties will be documented: Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Carroll, Dorchester, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Wicomico. 

New Jersey

City of Paterson - $35,000
Through this award, the City of Paterson will focus on the African American experience in Paterson, New Jersey. African Americans within Paterson are among the earliest groups of people in the colonies and the new nation. The earliest stories of both slavery and abolition, including a role in the Underground Railroad, are both deeply embedded in Paterson’s history. Four of New Jersey’s UGRR routes ran through Passaic County, making Paterson a “well organized station.” Following in this early-abolitionist past, Paterson played an integral role in the events of the 20th-century social and civil rights movements related to the African American experience and America’s history. Funds through the Underrepresented Communities grant will help the City of Paterson nominate four sites to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. 


City of Memphis- $45,000 
The City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development has designated a 20- block area as Memphis Heritage Trail (MHT) to celebrate the rich business, cultural and musical heritage of African-American achievement. While the nation begins to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the City of Memphis recognizes the need for an in-depth analysis and survey that can ultimately lead to recognition on historic registers and designation as a historic district. Therefore, the Underrepresented Communities grant funds will help locate, identify, and evaluate the sites, buildings, structures, material culture, and individuals that are associated with the historical and socio-cultural development of the Memphis Heritage Trail area. 


City of Austin - $43,200 
The City of Austin will increase the awareness of historic preservation through National Register historic district nominations in two historically significant African American and Hispanic neighborhoods in East Austin. Through this nomination process results will include increased awareness of what historic preservation is, how it helps recognize and save unique local history, and how it can benefit historically underserved communities that are facing exceptionally high development pressures. Tangible outcomes for this demonstration project include creating a gold-standard protocol for future community engagement around historic designation efforts, stronger collaborative partnerships between the City and community groups and institutions, and future local district designation and National Register nominations. 


County of Milam - $50,000 
The project through the County of Milam, consists of the El Camino Real de los Tejas Ranchería Grande National Register nominations. The project will enhance the Milam County Certified Local Government (CLG) by recognizing the Spanish Colonial Historic Native Village Sites and Historic Road and Trail Segments of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail that comprise a portion of Ranchería Grande. In particular, the Underrepresented Communities grant will prepare National Register nominations for the Conner Swales Site, the Baumann Village Site, the Bird Point Heaven Village Site, and the Wise Village Site. The County will also prepare the National Register nomination of Ranchería Grande Archaeological District, as well as the National Register nomination of Ranchería Grande Sites as contributing components of San Xavier Mission National Register Archaeological District, and the National Register nomination of Ranchería Grande Sites as contributing components of Historic Resources of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. 


Virginia Department of Historic Resources - $34,486
The Rappahannock Chiefs’ House project will allow preparation of a National Register nomination for the Chief Nelson House in Indian Neck, Virginia. The Chief Nelson House is the 20th-century home of two Rappahannock Indian chiefs (father and then son) and the childhood home of a third. Now a standing ruin and associated archaeological site, this house, which also contained a school for Rappahannock children, served as the center of Rappahannock governance from the 1920s through the 1980s and was the center of the Rappahannock struggle to preserve its identity in the face of Jim Crow laws and Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924.  Grant activities will help achieve project objectives to complete the following tasks: (1) documentary research; (2) the collection of oral history accounts; (3) architectural documentation of the standing structures; (4) Phase I and II (identification and evaluation) archaeological testing; and (5) preparation and submission of the fully completed nomination. 


City of Pasco - $20,000 
Grant funds will be used to study historic properties connected with the experience of the City of Pasco’s African American communities and the increase to that population with the entry of the United States into World War II. This project will examine they system of segregation that was quickly established and the growth of the African American community in East Pasco through historic context development; survey, and inventory of associated properties, and nomination of properties to the National Register.   


Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation - $16,470 
The Old Man House historic property includes .86 acres of upland and beach and .62 acres of productive tidelands that are held in trust by the United States government for the Suquamish Tribe on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in central Puget Sound, Washington State. The land was owned by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission from 1945 to 2005, when the title was transferred to the Suquamish Tribe. Grant activities will update the National Register of Historic Places listing for the Old Man House historic property, the mother village of the Suquamish People.

Posted: December 27, 2017
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