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Myersville resident recieves preservation award

July 06, 2010

The Board of Trustees of the Maryland Historical Trust has chosen Birch Hotz of Myersville, Md., to receive a 2010 Maryland Preservation Award for preservation service.

The 89-year old native of Toronto and a World War II veteran of the Royal Air Force bought a 216-acre farm in 1963 with her husband, Robert, a former Flying Tiger.

By the time she restored the house, she had become the first woman to join the Myersville Fire Co., taken an EMT course, become the medic on board, the ambulance driver and elected president of the fire company, all while raising four sons and operating an antique shop in Bethesda, Md.

Along the way, she discovered there were more than 2,100 historic sites and buildings in Frederick County that needed saving, including an entire block in the Historic District slated to be demolished to build a new post office; Rose Hill Manor, the home of the second governor of Maryland (called The White Elephant by Frederick County that owned it); and Schifferstadt, an early stone house slated to be torn down to build a gas station.

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When she and a group of volunteers restored and furnished Rose Hill Manor as a children's "see, touch" museum open to the public, the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation had joined forces, raised funds from the historical trust to purchase Schifferstadt, placed an easement on it and stabilized the structure.

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