Public Programs: Historic Places: Planning

Period of Performance

4/1/2019 - 9/30/2020

Funding Totals

$75,000.00 (approved)
$75,000.00 (awarded)

The Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site

FAIN: BP-264596-19

Lancaster County Historical Society (Lancaster, PA 17603-3125)
Thomas Robert Ryan (Project Director: August 2018 to November 2021)

Development of a site interpretive plan exploring the impact of Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith on the Underground Railroad in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the Reconstruction Amendments.

To celebrate the significant contributions of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, (formerly known as the Lancaster County Historical Society) will undertake a project to restore the home and law office of Congressman Stevens as well as to create an adjacent interpretive museum that will celebrate the legacy of Lydia Hamilton Smith, confidante to Mr. Stevens, and tell the extensive story of the Underground Railroad in Lancaster County. The overall site will situate Mr. Stevens' political and personal contributions, including his dedication to the causes of emancipation, education, and civil rights, within the broader context of 19th-century America and the unique situation of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A planning grant will provide resources for us to carefully construct an interpretive plan that will share the legacy of Mr. Stevens with the world while engaging citizens of and visitors to Lancaster in meaningful dialogue about issues of civil rights and civic literacy.

Media Coverage

LancasterHistory gets $150K in planning grants for Thaddeus Stevens-Lydia Hamilton Smith site (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mary Ellen Wright
Publication: LNP-Lancaster News Paper
Date: 6/4/2019
Abstract: Newspaper article describing NEH support of planning activities at the Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site in Lancaster, PA.