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The original land deed for their church called for “a place of excellence for persons of African descent.” By the 1870s, only a few years after emancipation, several families of formerly enslaved people had fulfilled that decree. In a quiet rural corner of Montgomery County, Maryland, they had built a church, started a school, and purchased more than 200 acres of land. Their town, Sugarland, remains one of the best-documented historic African American communities in the county.
Moved by a 150-year tradition of faith, family, and community, the nonprofit Sugarland Ethno-History Project maintains the historic 1893 church, the cemetery behind it, and a vast collection of artifacts, documents, and images, all part of a larger effort to honor those who have come before and share their story with the wider world.
We invite you to learn more about Sugarland—the history, the families, the memories that yet resonate inside the historic church, and the lessons it imparts to all who wish to learn.
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