Our Small Organizations Group has a password-protected page, please access that page here.

The mission of ALTSCHA/Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area is to advance, support and promote the natural, historic and cultural resources of the region. As part of our mission we manage grant programs that support our local partners. Please see our management plan, five-year plan, and additional resources here for specifics. (This Five-Year Plan is still in effect, with the Annual Plans updating it each year, until MHAA approves a superseding Plan).

New for FY2023 Grants! Please see the Updated Priorities Document below.

To go further, after reading our three primary goals (summarized below — Annual Plan), keep in mind how your project fits into our Goals and Objectives. If you are creating new heritage tourism brochures, websites, exhibits, or other projects that in our field are called “heritage tourism products,” for example, you are part of Goal 1 and Goal 2 (primarily Goal 2). You can refer to specific Objectives in this Annual Plan to add detail to your answer. Grant reviewers are interested in whether you have used the documents on this page to understand our process.

To fit your project even more clearly into our Goals and Objectives, a thorough answer will refer to the Interpretive Themes in our Management Plan, Chapter 3, “Interpretive Framework” (see below). This chapter can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking that chapter title below (and PDFs can be searched quite easily!). To download a summary of the Interpretive Themes, click here:

Updated Priorities Document — Adopted November, 2021

Here in the Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area, our organization has adopted a new planning document for grant applicants in FY2023. Entitled “Updated Priorities Document,” it is intended to  assist applicants in aligning their projects with heritage area priorities. Download it here: ALTSCHA-Updated-Priorities-Document

Diversity Statement

Value Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Adopted November 2021):
ALTSCHA follows the Alliance of National Heritage Areas, a related organization, in making a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work, policies, and practices. Heritage Areas work collectively to protect and promote diverse people and places that tell Maryland’s (and America’s) stories equitably and inclusively.
— We define diversity as meaningful representation of different individuals and groups in cultural heritage development, included but not limited to race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, geography, and perspective.
— We define equity as policies and practices that help communities gain access to opportunity, networks, and resources toward reaching their full cultural heritage development potential.
— We define inclusion as authentic engagement of diverse groups in cultural heritage development, providing all community members with a genuine sense of belonging.

Check whether a location is in our heritage area boundaries

Official Boundary Amendment Application

The ALTSCHA Boundary Amendment Application was approved on April 8, 2021. Download it here:

Our Management Plan

Prepared for the Steering Committee of the Annapolis, London Town & South County Heritage Area, by Wallace Roberts Todd, LLC
with: RER Economic Consultants, History Now, KFH Group, Kellerco

(Note: Graphics have been removed for faster loading.)

Our Annual Plans for FY2022, 2023

 ALTSCHA’s Annual Plans for FY2022 and for FY2023 reflect our three primary Goals and our updated Objectives and Action Items.

Our three primary Goals are: 1. Steward the region’s heritage assets by preserving, protecting and strengthening natural, historic and cultural resources; 2. Stimulate economic development through heritage tourism products, programs and experiences for visitors and residents; and 3. Become a model for effective organizational management among heritage areas.

ALTSCHA Annual Workplan MHAA FY2022 MGMT GT

ALTSCHA Annual Workplan MHAA FY2023 MGMT GT

Our Five-Year Plan

 The 5-Year Plan covers fiscal years 2013-2018, extended through FY2022 on the advice of MHAA.

Reference Links

The reference links below will be useful for grant-writing and project planning. Let us know if you would like us to add a link!

Anne Arundel County Land Preservation and Recreation Plan: The 2014 Maryland LPRP establishes a 5-year vision for land preservation and recreation, and is based on input received from our land managers, local government, and the public and advisory groups like this committee. For the very first time, the Maryland LPRP  contains a separate trails section that addresses the needs of motorized and non-motorized user groups. The Maryland LPRP will provide guidance and investment strategies to support the many needs of the state’s trail users as part of Maryland’s state-wide network.

The Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan can be found online at:

Anne Arundel County General Development Plan:

Browse the entries from the (partial, never completed) Maryland Online Encyclopedia:
Use the alphabetical tabs in the horizontal menu.

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail: For the trail website, visit

Research Resources

Interpretation: Interpretation at Heritage Area sites mostly occurs during tours or public programs, but occasionally interpretive papers are available as PDF files, or public programs have been videotaped and can be viewed online. This page will provide links to interpretative materials that can be found online.

Annapolis Charter

In 2008, the City of Annapolis celebrated the 300th anniversary of its charter as an incorporated city. At a conference organized as part of the observances, Professor C. Ashley Ellefson analyzed the process by which the charter was enacted. This webpage also provides links to the relevant primary documents.
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Common People

A 1992 Colonial Williamsburg Foundation conference examined the material lives of the common people who populated the Chesapeake 1700-1830 in three sessions—Standards of Living, Rural and Urban Life, and Folkways and Formalities—from the perspectives of social historians, archaeologists, curators, and material culture specialists. The papers provide a useful overview of the range of social history and artifact research covered at the conference.
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Eastport Walking Tour

Take a virtual walking tour of Eastport courtesy of the Annapolis Maritime Museum.
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Government House

The Government House site provides a history of the house and a virtual tour of the public rooms.
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Maryland Day

Maryland Day is one of the Heritage Area’s major collaborative celebrations, with programming at most of our sites. This web page provides a brief explanation of what Maryland Day represents and a link to a longer study of the primary sources that document the event that Maryland Day commemorates.
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Maryland Shipping, 1750-1775; by John Wing

Wind-driven wooden vessels and entrepreneurial merchants and masters enabled colonial Maryland’s agricultural products to reach their markets.  This essay analyzes the growth and composition of Maryland’s trade before the Revolution and describes the merchants vessels engaged in the colony’s shipping.

Maryland State Archives

Maryland State House-The Maryland State Archives site provides a history of the building and a virtual tour of the first- and second-floor public spaces.
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The Heritage Area presented a “Mythbusters” workshop in November 2008 and again in August 2012 that addressed some of the myths that still circulate about the area’s history or in the interpretation of historic structures. Several of the presentations are available online.

Provisioning Urban Areas

In 1997 Colonial Williamsburg Foundation completed an NEH-funded study of the provisioning of urban areas in the colonial and early national Chesapeake region. A major portion of the research material came from Annapolis documents. The full report is available online.
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Research at London Town

Historic London Town House and Gardens shares research reports and presentations through the History link on their home page. Current postings include several different topics, including the role of women in public houses, foodways (generally) and the hoecake (specifically), and lot histories for several London Town properties. More material will be added as time permits, so check the site from time to time.
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Blogs: Everybody blogs these days, and heritage area sites and professionals are no exception. On this page we’ve tried to collect many of the blogs related to the Four Rivers Heritage Area and our mission. Please let us know if you have others that you recommend!

Historian Annapolis

Written by local history buffs, blogs on Historian Annapolis bring readers insider perspectives on the newest museum exhibits, centuries-old landmarks, preservation initiatives happening within our historic city, and spotlights on leading local historians. For local perspectives on Annapolis’ rich colonial, maritime, and African American history, check out Historian Annapolis.
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Annapolis Tapestries

Annapolis Tapestries is an historic community project providing social, cultural, artistic, and educational benefits for the citizens of Annapolis, project participants, and the City’s many visitors. Far more than mere pictures of the City’s history, Annapolis Tapestries’ needlepoint images weave together significant events and people that shaped the City’s development into one-of-a-kind, storytelling visuals.
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Anne Arundel’s Horses

This is an earlier Four Rivers Blog focused on our area’s horse-related history and heritage, sharing the fruits of several years’ research, with posts by research consultant Dr. Jean Russo; many thanks to this blog’s supporters!
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 Archaeology in Annapolis

Archaeology in Annapolis is a partnership between the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Historic Annapolis Foundation. Begun in 1981, the Archaeology in Annapolis project has been concerned with promoting better understandings of Annapolis’ diverse past through the interpretation of material culture. Since 2000, Archaeology in Annapolis has also worked on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at William Paca’s 1792 plantation on Wye Island, as well as at Wye House, the home of the Lloyd family and where Frederick Douglass—at five or six years old—found he was a slave.
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Finding The Maryland 400

This blog records the activities of a Maryland State Archives research project to identify and prepare biographies for the men who served in the Maryland Line at the Battle of Long Island, as well as describing their experiences before, during, and after the battle as their service continued in the following months and years.
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Garden and Women’s History

Historian Barbara Sarudy has several blogs of interest. The geographic range for all of them is either the mainland British colonies or the present United States, but in addition to material drawn from local sources, much of the content deals with broad cultural topics that encompass this area. One focuses on 18th-century gardens and the other three on women in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
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 Poplar Grove Project

Archives staff members charged with processing an important documentary collection from Poplar Grove, located on the Eastern Shore, blog about their work. Some of the posts have Annapolis-area connections and the blog itself is an interesting example of how collections can be interpreted for the general public.
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Reflections by Maryland’s State Archivist

Dr. Edward Papenfuse, Maryland’s former State Archivist, writes a blog on topics relating to the preservation of the past in its archival form, considering issues and challenges that concern anyone interested in interpreting or understanding our history.
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A wide-ranging blog covering activities at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
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The Lost Towns Project Blog

Keep up with the Lost Town Project’s archaeologists as they uncover and discover Maryland history in Anne Arundel County sites like the former Chew Mansion, the Java site (at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), and Pig Point.
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Bibliographies: In the hope that our readers are still interested in books and papers, we offer a selection of bibliographies, and links to online bibliographies, on topics relevant to the Heritage Area.

Archaeology in Annapolis

Archaeology in Annapolis is an on-going exploration of the city’s past that began in 1981 in collaboration with Historic Annapolis Foundation and has continued in partnership with other Heritage Area organizations. AiA maintains an online bibliography of the books, dissertations, articles, and research reports produced by the project.
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Colonial Williamsburg

Research reports and articles prepared by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation staff archaeologists are available online.
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Comparative Chesapeake Archaeology

The Comparative Chesapeake Archaeology website links to research reports, articles, and site summaries related to the 18 sites included in the original NEH-funded project.
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Historic St. Mary’s City

The Historic St. Mary’s City website contains links to articles on Maryland history of general interest and on topics relevant to the interpretation of the Heritage Area.
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KK-AH Resource Center

The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation’s Resource Center Collection focuses on African and African-American history, U.S. slavery, genealogy “how-to,” and local history and genealogies. Holdings include books, journals, video media, and oral interview recordings. The catalog is available online.
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Lost Towns Project

A selection of recent scholarly articles and publications by members of the Lost Towns Project staff.
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Lost Towns Project Library

The Lost Towns Project lab at Historic London Town and Gardens houses a special collection of the Anne Arundel County Public Library. The collection includes over 850 volumes about colonial history, culture, archaeology, material culture, and more. The website link provides instruction on searching the county library catalog for volumes housed at London Town.
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Maryland State Archives

The Maryland State Archives website has two oral history collections that are related to the Heritage Area: MSA SC 2140, The Annapolis I Remember Collection, and MSA SC 5845, the Shady Side Oral History Collection.
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Galesville Heritage Society

The Galesville Heritage Society website offers a series called “The Story of Stores” to visitors that allows you to hear the history behind the general stores and other businesses that have inhabited Galesville over the years. Through the videos, you can meet business owners, learn what they sold, and how these stores supported the community throughout these years
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Deale Area Historical Society

The Deale Area Historical Society continues to collect oral histories from Deale area residents. Contact John Ward at (443) 321-8720 or email [email protected].
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Captain Avery Museum

The Captain Avery Museum has a collection of more than 150 oral histories in various formats that capture early and present life in the Shady Side community. The community is able to research and have access to this collection.
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Primary Sources: Some sources for online primary sources are well-known, the Maryland State Archives being the most outstanding example. But others may be known primarily to “insiders.” We list them here so we can all be insiders!

1783 Tax Assessment

The index for Anne Arundel’s 1783 tax assessment lists property owners alphabetically by hundred (geographical subdivision) with a summary of property owned and the location of the original record.
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1798 Federal Direct Tax

The 1798 Anne Arundel Federal Direct Tax volume contains images of the original records, which can be accessed by taxable subdivision and by type of assessed property. The volume includes an explanation of the process of levying the tax.
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Archives of Maryland Online

The Archives of Maryland Online site now contains over 800 volumes, many of which relate generally or specifically to the Four Rivers Heritage Area.
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Blacks in Annapolis

The Blacks in Annapolis link on the Maryland State Archives website provides access to biographical information about African-Americans in Annapolis. From that web page, one can also access the larger Legacy of Slavery in Maryland site, which provides additional information and resources relating to African-American history.
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Colonial Probate Records

The Maryland State Archives’ Index 1 provides online access to the index of Maryland probate records for the colonial period. Many of the documents referenced in Index 1 can be viewed online using the Huntington Collection of Maryland State Archives Security Microfilm.

Comparative Chesapeake Archaeology

The Comparative Chesapeake Archaeology website contains a catalog of artifactual information (images, site summaries, and more) for the 18 sites included in the original NEH-funded project.
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Gunston Hall Inventory Project

Gunston Hall has put together an online database consisting of inventories from Virginia and Maryland recorded between 1740 and 1810; the transcriptions include some Anne Arundel residents.
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Inventory of Historic Places

The Maryland Historic Trust’s Inventory of Historic Places provides access to documentation for all Anne Arundel (and other Maryland) sites surveyed before July 2004.
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 Maryland Diagnostic Artifacts

The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory’s website provides an introduction to some of the most significant types of artifacts found on Maryland sites. The site covers prehistoric ceramics, colonial ceramics, post-colonial ceramics, and small find. Within each group, there is an overall chronology and definition of terms, and descriptive information with images and references for each sub-group.
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Maryland Gazette

Microfilm images of surviving issues of the Maryland Gazette, 12/1728 to 112/1830, are available online.
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 National Regisiter of Historic Place

National Register of Historic Places Explore Maryland’s National Register properties on the Maryland Historical Trust’s page
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State Art Collection

The State Art Collection on the Maryland State Archive website provides access to images, cataloging, and other information about over 700 fine and decorative art objects dating from the 18th century to the present day.
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The Crutch

Microfilm images of the surviving issues of The Crutch, published by U.S.A. General Hospital, Div. 1, 1/1864 to 5/1865, are available online.
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 Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database contains information about almost 35,000 voyages that transported Africans for sale as slaves in the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries. From the website, one can search both the Voyages database and the database of over 67,000 transported Africans whose names were recorded. The site also includes maps, a time line, and a chronology.
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War of 1812 Music

This website offers newly-published sheet music and recordings, as well as up-to-date scholarly information. It is intended for the use of teachers, students, fellow scholars, and the general public interested in learning about American History through the rich and significant music of the War of 1812 era.
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