Carroll County plays a strong part in acknowledging the historical significance of its legendary regional landmarks, as the province’s very own Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (HCWHA) is recognized as the eleventh heritage area in the state of Maryland. The County and its municipalities, in partnership with Frederick and Washington counties, were certified through Maryland's Heritage Preservation and Tourism Areas Program. Certification enables Carroll County businesses and organizations to use State grants, loans, and tax incentives to undertake projects that support the heritage area's goals and capitalize on the area's significant Civil War-related history. Carroll County’s unique location residing just below the Mason-Dixon Line, makes the territory special as it takes on the innate responsibility to increase awareness and spread appreciation for the remarkable land history. Extensive work and collaboration with the HCWHA have helped ensure that Carroll County's place in Civil War history gets the recognition it deserves and that the county's businesses, heritage organizations, and visitor service providers will benefit from this distinction.

The goals and recommendations for the heritage area are outlined in the management plan, which was adopted as an amendment to the comprehensive and master plans for the County and its municipalities. The management plan is available for review at

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) Grants

One of the most direct benefits of participating in the Heritage Areas Program is the opportunity for heritage organizations and local governments to take advantage of the grants and loans made available through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Grants of up to $50,000 are available for non-capital projects and Capital grants of up to $100,000 are available for all projects specifically named within the heritage annual work plan and relate to the goals described in the Heritage Area Five-Year Action Plan. You can download and review the Five-Year Action Plan by visiting Proposed activities must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions outlined in the approved heritage area Management Plan.

Numerous Awardees of the MHAA Grants include several groups and organizations residing in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. In recent years, Awardees from Carroll County include:

FY19 - FY22:

  • City of Westminster: $95,000 for the repair and renovation of the Historic Durbin House (2022)
  • The Carroll County Farm Museum: $23,000 for an exhibit highlighting quilts, including the purchase of display cases, archival storage supplies, and research (2022)
  • City of Westminster – $25,000 for the Durbin House Historic Structure Assessment (2021)
  • Carroll County Arts Council – $60,000 for theatre renovation (2020)
  • The Carroll County Farm Museum – $10,275 to enhance the museum’s Hoff Log Barn with updated signage and oxen exhibit. (2019)
  • The Historical Society of Carroll County – $50,000 for exhibit: “Carroll County Legacy: In Context” at Cockey’s. (2019)
  • The Town of Sykesville – $18,000 for its Gate House Museum. (2019)
  • The Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. – $24,159 for a historic resource study. (2019)

The MHAA capital and non-capital grants project applications round for the Fiscal Year 2023 is now open! Please visit to view MHAA grant program information, guidelines, deadlines, and other useful resources for potential applicants. You may also visit the Maryland Historical Trust page under the Department of Planning to review eligibility criteria and obtain the most current MHAA project application packages, visit Applicants submit proposals to their local heritage area grants contact in January and are encouraged to discuss potential proposals with local contacts as soon as possible. The Carroll County contact is:

Carroll County Department of Planning
225 N Center Street, #106
Westminster, Maryland 21157-5194

Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Phone: 410-386-5145

HCWHA Mini-Grants

As part of its operating grant, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (HCWHA) has administered its own mini-grant program. This very popular program offers competitive mini-grants of between $500 and $2,500. In addition, non-capital matching grants awards may be offered at any range between $500 and $5,000. These grants may go to heritage sites, non-profit organizations, and government units within the heritage area to develop new and innovative programs, partnerships, exhibits, tours, events, and other heritage tourism-related initiatives that are consistent with the goals and priorities stated in the HCWHA management plan.

The mini-grant round is currently closed and will open in late August of 2022. You may access the FY22 online digital mini-grant application form by visiting The mini-grant program deadlines occur every few months and grants are approved until the funds have been exhausted. Mini-grant information, workshops, webinars, deadlines and applications are available online at the HCWHA main website,, or by visiting the mini-grants direct information page,

For more detailed information about grants or mini-grants, contact the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area office or website at To take a look at the HCWHA staff contacts, please visit

The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Office Location:
22 S Market Street, Suite 215
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Phone(240) 608-5177