Long Island Farm is a rare architectural specimen. It numbers among the two dozen survivors of the 1,500 homes recorded on the 1798 Tax List.
The Friends of Long Island Farm, with the help of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC), has made much progress this year in recording the architecture and history of Long Island Farm. We have already completed and submitted to Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) three hours of oral history from the neighbors, tenants and workers of Long Island Farm. Another four hours of recordings dealing with the Risteau/Jenifer family have been completed and are in the final stages of transcribing. These should be finished in a week or two. This will conclude the formal oral history recordings for the farm. Informal history recordings will continue whenever new information is available. If you would like to share your memories of the farm or of Cromwell Valley please let us know. Thanks to a Preservation Maryland grant and funds from the GVC the architect has finished two-thirds of the Historical Structures Report (HSR) on Long Island house. The final one-third is due soon. This should give us a firm basis for future restoration when funds become available. We have applied to MHT for additional grant money to complete a Historical Structures Report on all of the outbuildings. Hopefully, we will get good news from them in September. Baltimore County Historical Trust has reviewed our grant application for funding some of the HSR expenses and we hope to soon get a positive response from them too.
Our Archives project, under the direction of Anne M. Welsh, has wrapped up things for this year. We scanned and digitally stored over 325 historic photos and about 100 historic documents and letters belonging to the Jenifer family. The CDs containing these images will be stored with various historic organizations in Maryland, including MHT, while many of the originals will be sent to the Maryland State Archives to be added to the existing Lillian Jenifer collection in the Hall of Records. We have applied to MHT for additional funding to continue this important archiving project into next year. There is still much work yet to be done in this area. Volunteers to help archive the historical data are always welcome.
We have not heard much from the State recently concerning the status of the conservation easement on the land. We are still hopeful that the Maryland Environmental Trust will accept the easement and Program Open Space will still have the funds to implement it. It is most important that the land be conserved and not sold off for modern housing development.
YOUR HELP IS DESPERATELY NEEDED
The next phase of our Strategic Plan, forming a Support Group to direct and manage the programs and activities at the Farm, seems to be lagging behind schedule. In a January, ‘07 meeting with the historic preservation community it was agreed that a feasibility study was our next essential step to forming this group. Volunteers to research and direct the feasibility study are needed. Unless we find people to help us do the study and organize the Support Group the process of preserving Long Island Farm cannot progress much farther. Won’t you please give us a few hours of your time? To offer suggestions and/or to volunteer some of your time and talents please contact: Jim Kelly at 410-825-1522 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.