The Maryland Historical Trust is a state agency dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of Marylandâ€™s past.Â Through research, conservation and education, the Trust assists the people of Maryland in understanding their historical and cultural heritage.Â The Trust is an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning and serves as Marylandâ€™s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
The Trust was created in May of 1961 as a quasi-public corporation for the purpose of accepting and maintaining gifts of property and for assisting and encouraging preservation activities throughout the state.Â Funding was provided by the State and leadership was provided by a Board of Trustees which still exists today.Â Over the next few years, a survey and inventory program was initiated and financial assistance programs including state-funded grants and loans were developed.
Over time, the Trustâ€™s mission has grown to include the review of state undertakings on historic properties,Â assistance to non-state historical and cultural museums,Â cultural conservation, underwater archeology, and heritage tourism activities.Â Programs of the Trust include the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM) located in Calvert County, Maryland. Â This 560-acre property was donated to the State of Maryland in trust to the Maryland Historical Trust on June 16, 1983 by Mrs. Jefferson Patterson to be a passive recreation, education, and research facility. Â Â Today, JPPM is home to the State Museum of Archeology and the award-winning Maryland Archeological Conservation Laboratory.