Grants Supporting the Sharing of History

One doesn’t have to know Howard Phillips Jr., benefactor of Phillips Charitable Foundation, very long before his love for history came shining through.  In his home he had stacks of old newspapers with famous headlines, memorabilia from around the globe, collectables, old maps, antiques, and bookshelves full of books that were over 100 years old.  Walking through his home was like taking a step back in time. He had a great memory and loved to share stories about local history.  We know he’d be excited about two of our 2019 grants that will help to share his love of history with many others. We at Phillips Charitable Foundation (PCF) are especially excited about these projects as they weave together our giving areas of education, historical preservation and literacy.

Historic London Town and Gardens

Historic London Town and Gardens is a twenty-three-acre park featuring history, archaeology, and horticulture on the South River in Edgewater, Maryland. London Town was founded in 1683 as Anne Arundel County's seat and was a main route between Boston, Massachusetts and Charleston South Carolina. The William Brown House, built in 1760, still remains on-site and is open to tours.  They also have a reconstructed Carpenter’s Shop, Lord Mayor's Tenement with kitchen garden, ropewalk, an 18th century tobacco barn, and more.  History comes to life there. It’s the kind of place that Howard Phillips would have truly enjoyed.

School Tour, London Town

Children Cooking, London Town

Phillips Charitable Foundation awarded Historic London Town and Gardens a $30,000 grant for the design phase of a new education pavilion. "This pavilion is critically important to our operations and education programs” explained Rod Cofield, Executive Director of London Town.  “Right now our school groups sit at unsheltered picnic tables where this pavilion will be constructed. Once it is built, over 6,000 school tour visitors will use it every year. The covered space also allows us to more easily move forward with our plans for nature/garden-based education programs.”

First Design Draft for Education Pavilion

London Town also expects that these new education programs will bring in 2,000 - 3,000 school tour visitors within the next few years.

Along with Anne Arundel County's support of the parking lot expansion project and a $94,000 grant from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority this year to design a new horticulture office building and program space, London Town will now be able to complete the South Side Expansion Plan. The Maryland Heritage Area Authority agreed with their idea that constructing and designing all of these components at the same time made good master planning sense.

Reading in William Brown House

“We are profoundly grateful to the Phillips Charitable Foundation for the design funds and future construction funding” stated Rod.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is another wonderful place that brings history to life.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is dedicated to providing engaging and innovative ways to educate guests of all ages about the founding of our nation.

The Capitol Building, Colonial Williamsburg

Horse and Carriage in Front of the Governor's Palace

Books about our nation’s history are just one of the ways that Colonial Williamsburg strives to share the founding generation’s stories.   To help reach and engage an increasingly digital young audience, a $6,200 grant was awarded to create an e-book version of John P. Hunter’s Red Thunder. This will include new illustrations, a teacher’s guide, and an annotated biography of James Armistead Lafayette.

Fife and Drums on Palace Green

Guests with an Interpreter in Foyer of Governor's Palace

Red Thunder is a historical fiction book geared towards middle school children that tells the story of how Nate and his enslaved friend, James, help General Lafayette win the battle of Yorktown. Many teachers, including those who have attended Colonial Williamsburg’s Teacher Institute (CWTI), CWF’s Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s signature teacher professional development program, incorporate Red Thunder into their curricula.

Samantha Castagna, Senior Development Associate at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, says that they hope to have the book completed by Spring 2021.  She says that although there are no firm plans yet, they hope to convert more books into e-books in the future.


Congratulations to Historic London Town and Gardens and to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation! It's an honor to add these organizations to our growing list of grantees.


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