Telling Our Full Story

SHPOs are working to make sure our historic places tell the full story of all Americans.  Below are some special projects and initiatives highlighting those efforts.


Mountain View Officers’ Club, Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista vic., Cochise County, Arizona

National Register Listing and Preservation Campaign: The Mountain View Officers’ Club is significant for its association with the black military experience during World War II, a time when the U.S. Army enforced strict racial segregation in its forces. Between 1940 and 1945, Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona was the largest training facility for black soldiers in the United States, where two divisions, the 92nd and 93rd, trained during the Army’s rapid buildup of forces during the War. Although perceived as an instrument of discrimination by its users, the MVOC nevertheless by necessity became the black officers’ place of relaxation and entertainment during their training at Fort Huachuca. The MVOC is one of two remaining officer’s clubs in the nation that tell the important story of segregation within our Armed Forces.  The MVOC is at risk of demolition and for the better part of a decade the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office has engaged with Fort Huachuca and various consulting parties to the Section 106 process to explore options for adaptive reuse.  In partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arizona Preservation Foundation and the Tucson Preservation Foundation, the SHPO prepared a nomination that resulted in the listing of the MVOC in the National Register. Designated a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in 2017, the National Park Service also awarded SHPO a $500,000 Civil Rights grant for building rehabilitation.  Although the future of this significant building is still uncertain, what is certain is SHPO’s support of its continued use as a property that tells the story of the African American struggle to achieve equality in the Armed Forces.


S.P.M.D.T.U. Lodge Hall, built as a meeting space for the Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos, an important Hispano labor union, investigations revealed archaeological significance that may have been overlooked in the past

National Register Nominations for Sites Associated with Hispano Communities: In an effort to increase representation of Colorado’s Hispano communities in the National Register, the Colorado SHPO and Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area partnered to prepare nominations for four properties associated with the Hispano communities in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Funded by an Underrepresented Communities Grant, the project team, which included both historians and an archaeologist, explored the significance of each site from a broad perspective that included cultural heritage, landscape, and archaeology—a model that can be applied to other resources with complex significance.

District of Columbia

Story Map of Kingman Park, Washington, DC

Story Map, Kingman Park: Kingman Park is a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. that developed during the height of segregation when African Americans were largely shut out of new housing developments in and around the city by racially restrictive covenants. No such restrictions existed in the new development of Kingman Park, so house sales took off, attracting an exclusively African American population, and engendered the building of a new segregated neighborhood. Residents of Kingman Park enjoyed a  vibrant and tight-knit community, but they were also removed from white Washington and were continuously denied equality by government policies. To fight racial injustices, residents banded together. Several sites in Kingman Park became important scenes of civil rights demonstrations and activities contributing to the end of legally sanctioned segregation practices in the city and nationwide. This Kingman Park Story Map reveals the history of the neighborhood and its fight for civil rights through compelling historic maps and images.


African Americans in Pocatello, Idaho, picket the white-only YMCA for not allowing black Christians to use the facility

Multiple Property Documentation for African American Civil Rights in Idaho: The Idaho SHPO recently received a grant to research the history of African American Civil Rights in the state and identify sites associated with the struggle, finding, in the process, that the Idaho experience both parallels and diverges from the national movement.  The study resulted in a Multiple Property Documentation for African American Civil Rights in Idaho, which was recently approved by the Idaho State Historic Sites Review Board; an individual nomination for the Bethel Baptist Church in Pocatello is underway.  Also in the works is a traveling exhibit placing the Idaho Civil Rights struggle in national context.  When completed, it will travel to local museums, historical societies, and public buildings throughout the state.


The DHPA helped with research and application to the National Underground Network to Freedom program, and interpretive materials for the Georgetown neighborhood in Madison, IN (Jefferson County).  DHPA also used their Historic Preservation Fund dollars to help with the preservation of the AME church located in the center of the neighborhood

Underground Railroad Initiative: Since 1998, the DHPA has administered a public outreach program to foster research, identification, and protection of the state’s Underground Railroad resources. Through the Underground Railroad Initiative, the DHPA conducts a number of educational, training, and outreach programs for the public, advises and assists local historical groups and individuals with research activities and provides technical support for the preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and the National Network to Freedom so every person, place, or event in Indiana related to the escaping of fugitive enslaved Americans is known and remembered accurately.


Children in front of the Melville School in Kansas City, Kansas. Date and photographer unknown. The building no longer stands, but it was a pivotal site in the desegregation of Kansas City schools in 1920s for Mexican-American children

Survey of Hispanic-American History in Kansas City: The Kansas State Historic Preservation Office awarded a Historic Preservation Fund grant to the Kansas City Design Center in 2010 to hire an intern and consultant to conduct a survey of resources associated with Hispanic-American history in Kansas City, Kansas. The study encompassed three distinct urban neighborhoods and sought to identify structures and sites that might be eligible for inclusion on the local, state, or National Registers of Historic Places. The survey project was successful in many ways, but also identified challenges with documenting and determining eligibility for such resources when the history of these places have been erased due to intentional prejudice or neglect.


Grand United Order of Oddfellows Washington Lodge #1315, New Castle, KY

Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan, Odd Fellows Lodge: The Kentucky Heritage Council has been proud to work with the Grand United Order of Oddfellows Washington Lodge #1315 and the City of New Castle to stabilize and develop a rehabilitation plan for the historic lodge building on Main Street in downtown New Castle.  Working with Lodge elders, city officials and the New Castle Main Street program (a participating organization in the Kentucky statewide Main Street program administered by the KHC), we have employed the benefits of our Survey and National Register program, Main Street program, Design Services program and outreach and education programs in support of this significant organization and its historic location in downtown New Castle.


McComas Institute in Joppa, MD

African American Heritage Preservation Program: Maryland’s African American Heritage Preservation Program is celebrating its 10th year of grants! This popular program provides $1,000,000 in grants each year for capital projects that assist African American heritage sites. The Maryland Historical Trust and our partner the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture are proud to support this vital work preserving African American historical sites and promoting public understanding of the state’s African American history.



Frances H. and Jonathan Drake House

Historic Context for the National Register Multiple Property Nomination of locations of the Underground Railroad in Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Historic Preservation Office (the Massachusetts Historical Commission) developed a historic context for a Multiple Property Nomination of Underground Railroad sites in Massachusetts.  This framework provides a mechanism to list many different properties associated with the Underground Railroad that are currently known, and the ability to add properties as they are discovered.


Arthur and Edith Lee House

National Register Nomination for Arthur and Edith Lee House: Authored by University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture faculty and students in partnership with the Minnesota SHPO, the Arthur and Edith Lee House in Minneapolis was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014,.  The single-family home in South Minneapolis is a tangible reminder of the overt and ugly public displays of racial prejudice in the city in the first half of the twentieth century.


African American Heritage Trail Website, Kansas City, MO

African American Heritage Trail and Story Map: The African American Heritage Trail of Kansas City or (AAHTKC) website and ArcGIS story map is an innovative platform which allows members of the public to learn, visit, and share information about significant places in Kansas City.  The project started with a list of well-known historic sites, but is designed to expand as we all learn more about the places and stories that may not be well known.  The project was developed with many community partners and with a Historic Preservation Fund grant to the City from the National Park Service and the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Natural Resources.


Montana African American Heritage Resources Project Website, Helena, MT

African American Heritage Resources Project: The Montana’s African American Heritage Resources Project website is a gateway to exploring the Montana Historical Society’s rich collections that document this understudied aspect of the state’s history. Although African Americans never totaled more than one percent of the state’s population, they have been in the place that would become Montana since the earliest days of non-Indian presence and contributed greatly to Montana’s culture, economy, and religious life. Each corner of the state has significant stories to tell about the African American experience in the West. The resources on this website include information about many aspects of Montana’s African American history. Users can explore the story maps, property inventories, lesson plans, census information, essays, first-person narratives, photographs, manuscript collections, and artifacts that help tell the story of Montana’s African American heritage.


City of Las Vegas Officials and NAACP Discuss Desegregation of the Las Vegas Strip in the Moulin Rouge Coffee Shop in 1960, UNLV Special Collections

Historic Context, African American History in Nevada: In 2018, the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office received an NPS African American Civil Rights Grant to develop a historic context focusing on African American history in Nevada, with an emphasis on the 20th century and the Civil Rights Movement.  The SHPO created an Advisory Committee with representatives from diverse communities across the state to assist with public outreach and involvement.  The context identifies important property types associated with African American history and provides a framework for nominating resources to the National Register of Historic Places.

New York

The SANS Historic District was listed on the National Register in 2019 as the culmination of a four-year effort by a dedicated group of community volunteers who collected data, researched house histories, shared memories, and raised public support. The New York SHPO assisted with the survey and nomination project, which also received support from non-profit, state, and private agencies.

SANS Survey and Nomination Project: The Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, and Ninevah Subdivisions (SANS) in Sag Harbor, New York, developed after World War II as a summer resort created by and for African Americans who wished to vacation along the Long Island waterfront.  Consisting of three adjacent subdivisions, SANS provided an opportunity for black families to purchase land and build summer homes in an era when Jim Crow housing segregation and mortgage financing discrimination prohibited many people of color from enjoying resort housing at all and required creative solutions to provide accessibility even for middle-class African Americans. Today, SANS is one of the last thriving, primarily African American-owned beach resort areas in the country.

North Carolina

Allen Grove Rosenwald School in Halifax County, North Carolina

A Survey of North Carolina Rosenwald Schools: Schools are a special interest of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (NC HPO) because they are tremendously important to our state’s history yet quickly disappearing from the landscape. Since the 1980s, the NC HPO has been documenting North Carolina’s Rosenwald schools through comprehensive historic architectural surveys of municipalities and counties conducted in collaboration with local governments, and working directly with constituents interested in bricks and mortar preservation and reuse of the surviving school buildings.

North Dakota

Assyrian Muslim Cemetery, near Ross, North Dakota

Assyrian Muslim Cemetery National Register Listing: The Assyrian Muslim Cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, is located near Ross in northwestern North Dakota. It is the site of the nation’s first mosque and was North Dakota’s only Muslim cemetery for ninety years. The cemetery is the only remaining location in the area that recalls the influence of Syrian immigrants, who began arriving there in 1902.


Web page providing information for successfully nominating sites associated with Civil Rights Movement

Preserving Ohio’s Place in the Civil Rights Movement: The story of Ohio’s struggle to achieve civil rights for African American citizens can be found in buildings, structures, sites and neighborhoods throughout the state. This webpage provides information about successfully nominating 20th Century Civil Rights associated historic properties to the National Register of Historic Places.  The 20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio Multiple Property Document (MPD) provides a detailed history of civil rights activity in Ohio and identifies specific property types associated with the movement.  The Eugene McKinley Memorial Pool in Portsmouth and the Manse Hotel and Annex in Cincinnati are two National Register nominations representing important property types and themes associated with Ohio’s 20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement. Ohio’s State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the Ohio History Connection, received a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program to prepare the Multiple Property Documentation Cover and related National Register nomination.


Web Portal: Black History IS Oklahoma History

Black History Web Portal: As the title states, “Black History IS Oklahoma History.” You cannot tell the story of Oklahoma without including the Native populations, the removed Tribes, the Black community and in more recent times, the Asian and Hispanic communities. This link is just one of many things that the Oklahoma SHPO is doing agency-wide to demonstrate the diversity of Oklahoma’s heritage.


Darcelle XV, Portland, OR

Documenting Oregon’s LGBTQ History: One of Oregon’s statewide preservation plan goals is to increase the thematic diversity of properties listed in the National Register. A recent example includes the state’s first nomination that recognizes Oregon’s LGBTQ history. Located in Portland, the drag venue Darcelle XV is significant for its role in gaining acceptance for drag and gay rights and as a safe place that anchored the LGBTQ community far beyond the reach of any LGBTQ bar. Darcelle XV was well-known on the west coast starting as early as 1968 and was able to consistently pull in a mixed gay and straight audience starting in about 1970. The nightclub held drag pageants and competitions which drew participants from all over the United States. By the early 1970s, Darcelle XV was a well-known powerhouse of drag support and sponsorship on the west coast and that impact continues through today as Darcelle continues to perform at the age of 89. With the abundance of community support for this nomination the hope is that this nomination will catalyze other LGBTQ nominations in Oregon.


Archaeological investigations have uncovered the remains of Pandenarium, an agricultural community of formerly enslaved African Americans that flourished from the 1850s through the 1930s, north of Indian Run in Mercer County.  Pandenarium is one of the first subjects to be marked through PA SHPO’s proactive historical marker efforts.

PA SHPO’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access: As part of PHMC’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access, PA SHPO identified ways in which underrepresented stories and places in Pennsylvania can be better identified, documented, and celebrated. Through three proactive efforts —survey, National Register nominations, and historical markers—PA SHPO has identified significant thematic and geographic gaps in Pennsylvania’s cultural resources data.  With financial support from Keystone and mitigation funds, PA SHPO has started working to address those gaps to preserve and share a more inclusive and representative record of Pennsylvania’s history.

Rhode Island

Sherman Sanford Mars House, 251 Williams Street, Providence.  Mars was co-founder of the Rhode Island Committee of Vigilance which offered assistance and protection to fugitive slaves

College Hill Historic District Amendment: In 2018, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission partnered with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society to complete an amendment to the College Hill National Register Historic District in Providence.  Funded by a $25,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Communities Grant Program, the amendment documents churches, residences, businesses, and places of political organizing significant to the African American and Cape Verdean communities of College Hill. In so doing, it recognizes the important contributions made by people of African descent to the development of this nationally significant historic district.

South Carolina

African American Historic Places in South Carolina

African American Historic Places in South Carolina: The South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office has developed a publication that showcases the many properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, or sites marked with state historical markers, that are associated with African American history.  Each year an update is prepared noting new additions.

South Dakota

He Dog Consolidated School, Todd County, South Dakota

He Dog School National Register Nomination: The South Dakota SHPO and Rosebud THPO partnered to nominate the He Dog School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation to the National Register. The Bureau of Indian Affairs had planned to demolish the school until community members objected and the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council passed a resolution calling for its preservation. The school, which was built with New Deal funding and used a Rosenwald Fund school plan, also contains ten murals by Lakota artist James “Jim” Blackhorse depicting traditional Lakota life.


New Salem Baptist Church

Preservation of New Salem Baptist Church: The New Salem Baptist Church Renovation Task Force was awarded a Historic Preservation Fund grant of $33,416 in 2018 to complete masonry work on the 1866 church in Sevier County Tennessee. The TN Historical Commission, East TN Development District, and East Tennessee Community Design Center have worked to recognize and restore the church building since its listing in the National Register in 2003. Built by Isaac Dockery, a locally well-known African American craftsman, the church building is one of the oldest buildings in the county and the only 19th century African American church building in Sevier County.


James Farmer Marker Dedication

Undertold Stories Marker Program: The Texas Historical Commission’s Undertold Stories Marker program welcomes applications for markers intended to address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories. Nearly 200 such markers have been installed across the Lone Star State since the program’s inception in 2006, including such topics as Chinese immigration to El Paso, stories of African American freedom colonies, and even stories of violence such as the Porvenir Massacre and the lynching of Jesse Washington.


Oljato Trading Post

Partnership with Navajo Nation to stabilize Oljato Trading Post: In early March 2020, the Utah SHPO helped coordinate and supervise a three-day effort to stabilize the vacant, stone-and-adobe Oljato Trading Post. This National Register-listed building is located on Navajo Nation land in the remote Four Corners area of southeastern Utah. This is the first step toward what is hoped will be a full rehabilitation. The project lead was the San Juan County Historical Commission, which received a CLG grant for the project. Key partners and participants included the Navajo Nation and Utah State University-Eastern, which provided some 20 student and staff volunteers, who spent their spring break working on the project.


Daisy Turner of Journey’s End (courtesy of the Grafton Historical Society)

African American Heritage Trail: African American Heritage Trail website and printed materials provide glimpses into the history of Vermont’s Black community. The trail explores the lives and stories of Blacks in Vermont, and those dedicated to issues of freedom and equality. It takes visitors to historic and cultural sites where actions, events, and individuals significant to African American history and civil rights are remembered. These places feature exhibits, roadside markers, films, and tours that illuminate the lives of African Americans in the Green Mountain State and North Country of the neighboring Empire State of New York. Meet teachers, storytelling, activities, ministers, and legislators who contributed to the complicated mosaic of race relations to make Vermont a better home for all. The website is continuously being updated as research reveals new stories and places.


A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers

A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers: The Department of Historic Resources has released a new book that features the texts and locations of more than 300 state historical markers highlighting people, places, and events important to African American and Virginia history, ranging from the colonial era through the civil rights movement.


Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Seattle, WA. An example of a property listed on the National Register as a part of DAHP’s Underrepresented Communities effort.

Identifying, documenting and commemorating contributions of Filipino Americans to Washington State’s built history: Working with Filipino American historians and community members and their partners, Washington SHPO will gain a significantly expanded understanding of the themes and property types that are associated with the settlement and growth of Filipino Americans.  The project will include outreach opportunities, and ultimately result in recorded oral histories, a context statement, Historic Property Inventory forms for significant sites and buildings that tell the story of Filipino Americans, and completion of two National Register of Historic Places nomination forms. The National Park Service announced in June that it has awarded $750,000 in Underrepresented Community Grants to support the identification and nomination of sites to the National Register of Historic Places.