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Four Rivers Heritage: Story Project

ABOUT THE STORY PROJECT

Four Rivers Executive Director, Carol Benson, recently spoke about the Project: The entire enterprise of the heritage area has been developed to share people’s stories. Grant projects, large and small, aim to “unearth” important stories and share them with a greater audience. All our activities are all designed to help our stakeholder organizations and attractions “get the word out” to more people and to explain how the visitor experience will be deeply resonant and relevant for them.

Have you ever said, “I don’t care about history, that’s not about me,” and then found out what your grandfather’s occupation was, or learned about an inspiring leader who lived in your neighborhood? These stories are often far more relevant to audiences than they expect. This area is a remarkable place, and we are excited to bring new stories to light.

STORY PROJECT: CURRENT STORIES
Pamela Browne

The Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center and Memorial are part of a $27 million dollar complex called The Wiley H. Bates Heritage Park which opened in a public celebration, September 2006. Pamela Browne, longtime volunteer and now Executive Director, shares her story about what drew her here which started with her fathers attendance as a high school student. The Legacy Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Wiley H. Bates High School, formerly (1932 to 1966) the only high school for African Americans in Anne Arundel County. It is a unique cultural arts heritage center displaying historical documents and collections that preserve the African American experience.

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STEVE MYERS & DAVE NORMAN

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Hear the story of Steve Myers and Dave Norman, who both volunteer at SERC, as both educators and citizen scientists who are helping to preserve and restore the Chesapeake Bay. SERC leads research on coastal ecosystems—where the land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet. Its 2,650-acre campus spans forests, wetlands, marshes and 12 miles of protected shoreline. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting-edge ecological research.

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Model Boats in South County

Watermen have long been an integral part of life in Southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and the boats they used for their trade go hand-in-hand with their way of life on the water. A few months ago, several organizations from South County came together to showcase the intricate, hand-made wooden boat models that bring to life this key element of a waterman’s life and livelihood. This video features those boat models, as well as interviews with Dorothy Whitman of the Galesville Heritage Society and Peggy L’Hommedieu of the Deale Area Historical Society.

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HOGSHEAD

The Historic Annapolis’s Hogshead at 43 Pinkney Street (Downtown Annapolis) is an early 18th-century building similar to the modest wood frame structures that housed many colonial Annapolitans and new recruits to revolutionary service.  Today, it serves as an interactive, hands-on museum and historic landmark, offering visitors the opportunity to experience what life was like during the 1700s in Annapolis. Hogshead visitors will see, hear, and touch what life entailed for frontiersmen, colonial doctors, soldiers in the Revolutionary War, and enslaved or indentured workers. Here, you can pick up the heavy weight of a musket and feel what it would have been like to go hunting centuries ago, or learn about early medical practices by handling physicians’ instruments.

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DOTTIE BYERLY

Dottie Byerly is a volunteer at the Hammond-Harwood House, a historic site in downtown Annapolis where her mom happened to be raised as a baby. In addition she shares about how this house is truly a work of art as it was carefully crafted by one of our areas famous Architects. She talks about her experience and the power of history in our Four Rivers Heritage Area.

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BOB STEVENSON

Bob Stevenson is a volunteer at the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark and icon that is actually located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1875, it is the last “intact” lighthouse of its kind left in its original location and is a wonder for all to see. Bob shares his story of how this lighthouse captivated and motivated him to now volunteer to give tours to the public as well as work with the U.S. Lighthouse Society to restore and preserve this great National Historic Landmark.

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JIM CHEEVERS

Jim Cheevers is the former curator of the US Naval Academy Museum, for 50 years. He oversaw countless exhibits and installations involving US Naval history including the famous “Dont Give Up The Ship” flag. He talks about his experience and the power of history in our Four Rivers Heritage Area.

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GERTRUDE MAKELL

Gertrude Makell is Director of Galesville Community Center, and one of the first students to voluntarily integrate Southern High School when she was a teenager in South County Maryland.

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STORY PROJECT: UPCOMING STORIES
New Video Coming Soon!

In the meantime, check out may of our partners who have “Virtual Experiences”. Click Here and select “Virtual Experiences” Tab.

TELL US YOUR STORY!

The Four Rivers Heritage Area is excited to announce a new program, the Four Rivers Heritage: Story Project. We have secured funding to tell the powerful stories of the volunteers who work at our heritage sites, to discover how and why they do what they do, knowing that our history is critical to understanding our future.  To do this we need our stakeholders to share their meaningful stories about the importance of preserving our heritage. Some of these stories will be selected to be shared in narrative form, and some will become candidates for our planned series of mini-Video Documentaries, which will be filmed on location at our heritage partner sites.

So tell us your story — tell us WHY you devote your time, your dedication, your donation dollars to Heritage Area sites; we are seeking the untold stories in the Four Rivers Heritage Area that reveal critical history and heritage insights that should not be forgotten! To become a part of our project, please fill out the form below:

  • If more than one, add those details as part of your story.