Somerset County Historical Trust raises Mt. Zion's roof fund by $15,000

Posted 9/6/22

PRINCESS ANNE — Leaders and members of the Somerset County Historical Trust made possible a $15,000 donation in support of the Mt. Zion Historical Society’s effort to protect a once …

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Somerset County Historical Trust raises Mt. Zion's roof fund by $15,000

Posted

PRINCESS ANNE — Leaders and members of the Somerset County Historical Trust made possible a $15,000 donation in support of the Mt. Zion Historical Society’s effort to protect a once active church in its care.

Last year the Historical Trust’s board of directors became aware of the fundraising to replace the leaking roof on the former Mt Zion United Methodist Church, now the Mt. Zion Memorial Church. Built in 1887 in the gothic style by the active African-American community along Polk’s Road near Princess Anne, it went through a major remodeling in 1916 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Although no longer a religious institution, since 2005 the property has been managed by former church members, neighbors and friends who organized the historical group to maintain the structure and cemetery. It is now a gathering place for descendants of its founders and the community as a whole.

“We would hate to see this beautiful church disappear,” said Regina Bell, the Trust’s treasurer who lives nearby.

The SCHT is not in a position to make grants, but its board felt the roof project was important and found other ways to help. Trust members have assisted Mt. Zion when applying for state grants, and featured its preservation in the quarterly newsletter — asking readers to give and “keep Mt. Zion Church dry!”

Gifts came in from near and far, from those who live in the neighborhood to those who have moved away but have fond memories of the church or of a loved one buried in the graveyard. Others donated to support a worthy preservation project.

The roof over the former sanctuary was replaced in May. While that put a stop to the leaks the effort continues to address moisture and mold so the interior is protected for future restoration.

Last year Mt. Zion was added as one of Somerset County’s new heritage area resources within the Beach to Bay Heritage Area.

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