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Historic Preservation Office recognizes Lower Makefield’s initiative


The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) recently announced its Community Initiative Awards for 2023.

The four recipients and their projects showcase a variety of preservation success stories, demonstrating the importance of preserving those places at the heart of Pennsylvania’s communities that embody its past and present stories. The winners include: Preservation of Slate Hill Cemetery in Lower Makefield Township.

The Community Initiative Awards recognize the hard work and dedication of outstanding organizations, municipalities, agencies, and individuals whose work embodies the theme of Pennsylvania’s statewide historic preservation plan. The plan provides a framework of activities and goals that will help Pennsylvanians better understand historic preservation and its benefits, appreciate their shared histories as told through historic places, and balance history and economic development to manage change within their communities.

There is no formal application for the Community Initiative Awards. PA SHPO, a bureau within the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, selects candidates for consideration by reviewing success stories submitted via PA-SHARE, tracking use of the #PreservationHappensHere hashtag, monitoring social media and traditional press coverage, and reporting on active projects that utilize federal or state programs.

The Lower Makefield Township Historical Commission (LMTHC) is recognized for its efforts to preserve the community’s Slate Hill Cemetery and engage residents in their shared history. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Slate Hill is an intact Colonial-era graveyard that was established in 1690 as a Quaker burial ground but was later expanded to include the township’s first public cemetery. It contains about 580 burials, including six veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops who served in the Civil War.

In 2023 LMTHC began an ambitious project to document, preserve, and promote the history of the cemetery. Over the course of the year, their work included a report on the condition of the cemetery, an updated site survey, a preservation master plan, community clean up days and a marker cleaning program, a partnership with local police for use of ground penetrating radar for investigating underground, fundraising events, and a new education campaign to generate interest in the cemetery and the history of the Lower Makefield community.

The other winners are: Rehabilitation of the Historic 1849 Train Station, Borough of Nicholson, Wyoming County; A New Life Historic Fallon Hotel, Borough of Lock Haven, Clinton County; and Revitalization of the Titusville Iron Works, City of Titusville, Crawford County

For information or to see the list of past award winners, visit the Community Initiative Awards webpage.

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