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Date: January 13, 2014
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Commissioned to Develop Strategic Initiative & Interpretive Plan for Garrett County Maryland

History Associates recently completed a comprehensive cultural resource planning study for the Garrett County Maryland Chamber of Commerce, which is the official management entity for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area (MMGWHA). History Associates created a Strategic Initiative and Interpretive Plan for the area, which will provide a framework for developing the region as a destination for heritage tourism.

PR-Garret-County-MMGWHA“This Heritage Area has a fascinating and rich history to be explored by visitors,” noted Ms. Halley Fehner, lead historian on the project. She noted that the region has a historic network of trails, roads, and waterways that helped make it a primary route for America’s westward expansion during the 18th and 19th centuries. The abundance of natural resources brought coal mining, logging, and milling industries to the region. Its cultural heritage includes Amish, Mennonite, and Appalachian communities and it also has a long tradition of being a recreational destination for visitors drawn to its ski slopes and Deep Creek Lake.

History Associates conducted preliminary research into the history of the region and identified a number of compelling stories. Historians determined the current level of interpretive offerings in a detailed site survey and identified areas in which interpretation could be further developed. Next, History Associates convened a stakeholders meeting with MMGWHA and heritage area partners to discuss potential initiatives. A follow-up survey was conducted to clarify opinions as well as to collect information regarding specific heritage assets. Using the feedback from the meeting and surveys as a guide, History Associates evaluated the initiatives with particular emphasis on identifying target audiences, associated costs, and potential return on investment.

The final report provides an overall framework for developing and implementing initiatives that will help the Heritage Area become a destination for heritage tourism. It evaluates the current status of the heritage sites in Garrett County and then itemizes and assesses a range of initiatives that will bring visitors to the region. The report also includes an action plan for short-term and long-term implementation.

History Associates was selected through a competitive bidding process, which weighed proposals based in part on past success in creation of strategic plans, the ability to provide a wide range of necessary historical services, and the ability to meet the schedule for performance and delivery of services.

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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