Gwen Reese

detail of photo by Skip Brown, used with permission

Gwen Reese (1941–2021):
In Loving Memory

The Sugarland Ethno-History Project was deeply saddened by the passing of founder and president Gwen Hebron Reese on July 13, 2021.

Born and raised at Sugarland, Gwen set out in the 1990s to restore the community’s historic church. What started out as a grassroots effort with family and friends grew into an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the entire community—a history that otherwise would have been lost.

Under Gwen’s leadership, the SEHP collected thousands of documents and artifacts, opened the church as an educational resource for all visitors, mapped and documented the historic cemetery, partnered with other preservation groups, published a book about the history of the community, and welcomed an archaeology team from Montgomery College as they explored a Sugarland homestead from the 1870s.

Gwen has gone to her rest, but the work of the Sugarland Ethno-History Project will continue as a testament to her faith in God and her deep respect for her ancestors.